In "The Duchess," Keira Knightley plays the spritely Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire. The young socialite's flair for high style and towering hairdos adorned with colorful plumage led to her nickname the "empress of fashion" in the 18th Century.
Gorgeous Keira as Duchess
Devonshire House London (in Movie)
The above is actually Somerset House because the real Devonshire House was demolished in the 1920s, but the interior scenes were filmed at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire (home to the Dukes of Devonshire for over 5oo years) and Kedleston Hall, also in Derbyshire, lending an authentic, elegant feel to the film.
Beautiful Diana, Another Tragic Royal
Movie trailers and reviews are touting the fact that Princess Diana was a direct descendant of the Duchess of Devonshire. Being a genealogist and a stickler for facts, I beg to differ! To be a direct descendant, Georgiana would be Diana's 3rd Great grandmama. Diana was, in fact, descended from Georgiana's brother, George John, the 2nd Earl of Spencer (spelled Spenser in England).
Incidently, Ralph Fiennes and I share a common ancestor, way back in the 1500s. Could this be my claim to fame? (Actually, Sir George Yeardley, the first Governor of Virginia Colony, and I share the same ancestor as Ralph Fiennes.)
It is my opinion that Keira Knightley has one of the most exquisite faces currently being "celebrated" on screen. She is the princess I wanted to become. In some ways she bares a resemblance to one of my all-time favorite actresses, the lovely Audrey Hepburn. Both have striking faces and both are/were extremely anorexic. In The Duchess, Keira's anorexia was hidden under layers of heavy 18th Century clothing. (I must like skinny women with accents!)
Love that Audrey Smile!
If you like English history, you will probably like the movie The Duchess. I give it two hardy thumbs up!