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Heroes at Highclere: Experience the real Downton Abbey; Online-only auction now open for bidding
A Modern New Zealand `Lemon Squeezer’ Felt Hat with leather band in original case New Zealand Defence Staff, London. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2014.

LONDON.- Christie’s announced an online-only charity auction, Heroes at Highclere: Experience the real Downton Abbey, which opens for bidding on Friday 1 August and runs until Thursday 14 August. The auction features 12 experiences and items that offer a taste of life at the real Downton Abbey, with starting bids from £250. Experiences include an overnight stay at Highclere Castle for a party of three couples, who can reside in Lady Sybil’s, Lady Edith’s and Lady Cora’s quarters (starting bid £10,000); a lesson from the Butlering staff in how to set the table (starting bid £2,000); and afternoon tea with Baroness Jenkin, with a tour of the House of Lords and an overnight stay for two at The Goring Hotel including dinner (starting bid £2,000). The two-week auction will be accessible here with all proceeds raised going to Armed Forces charities which support both veterans and victims of war, including The Royal British Legion, Oxfam and Combat Stress.

In conjunction with the online-only auction is an exhibition curated by Christie’s, showcasing a range of artefacts from countries involved in the First World War. The exhibition – Centenary Stories: Remembering the First World War – tells the human story of men and women involved in the war, at home and abroad, through letters, photographs and artefacts from an array of countries. Centenary Stories will be on view for one day only at Highclere Castle’s “Heroes at Highclere” day of events on Sunday 3 August, and online via running until January 2015.

The “Heroes at Highclere” Charity Event, organised by Highclere Castle, commemorates the 100th anniversary of the First World War, for further information visit Highclere is where the award winning television period drama Downton Abbey is filmed and both the real and fictional homes have played a role in WWI. Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, turned Highclere into a military hospital during the First World War; just as Downton Abbey opened its doors to wounded soldiers in the second series.

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