Goodwood: The French Connection
5th August – 14th October 2013
This year the summer exhibition will explore Goodwood's French links from Charles II's beautiful French mistress, Louise de Keroualle, mother of the 1st Duke of Richmond, to the famous Sèvres china commissioned by the 3rd Duke when he was ambassador in Paris. The present Duke of Richmond is also Duke of Aubigny in France.
A unique collection of paintings, furniture and stories are revealed in this Summer’s Exhibition. Visit the State Apartments of Goodwood House and enjoy afternoon tea served in the grand Regency Ballroom every day.
Opening times are 1.00 - 5.00 pm for all open days. We can take groups on a Monday morning at any time.
Cream teas are available from 2.00 - 4.30 pm during the Summer Exhibition
Ticket prices are just £9.50 for adults, 12 - 18 year olds £4 and under 12’s free. Afternoon tea is available from £4 per person.
The spy in the bedchamber
The 1st Duke of Richmond was the illegitimate son of King Charles II and his French mistress Louise de Keroualle (1649-1734). Louise was a young French aristocrat, the daughter of the Comte and Comtess de Penancoët de Keroualle from Brittany. Known as 'the spy in the bedchamber', she was sent by the Catholic King Louis XIV to spy on his Protestant cousin, Charles II. Louise was made Duchess of Aubigny by Louis XIV and granted the Lennox estates at Aubigny-sur-Nère, east of Orléans. These included the ancient Château of La Verrerie which remained in the family of her descendants until 1842. The present Duke of Richmond is also Duke of Aubigny in France - the only English Duke who is also a French Duke.
The 3rd Duke of Richmond was sent as the English ambassador to Paris in 1765. While he was there, King Louis XV presented him with a magnificent set of Gobelins tapestries showing scenes from the story of Don Quixote. The Duke also commissioned a superb Sèvres green and blue dessert service with a matching green tea and coffee service, the teapot being unusually large. Artists from the Sèvres factory came to his Paris residence and copied the birds from George Edwards' Book of Birds. It was the first time real birds had been painted on Sèvres porcelain. The service is marked 1765 and 1766 and is very unusual in being decorated in both blue and green. Both the tapestries and Sèvres china can be seen displayed at Goodwood.
Among the other French treasures at Goodwood are some superb pieces of French furniture bought by the 3rd Duke of Richmond, including a suite of giltwood seat furniture by Delanois with its original Lyons cut-velvet upholstery.
After the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the Duke of Wellington gave the 4th Duke and Duchess of Richmond Napoleon's campaign chair as a thank you for hosting the famous ball in Brussels a few days before the battle. Today, the Earl of March continues the family tradition of sitting in it whilst working at his desk.
‘Goodwood: the French Connection’, an exhibition of Goodwood’s French links, runs from 5th August to 14th October 2013.
Book your tickets for the Summer Exhibition now