The Duchess of Rutland claims her Belvoir castle is haunted

The Duchess of Rutland claims her 356-room Belvoir Castle is haunted – and reveals how her daughters played spooky pranks on actor Hugh Grant when he came to stay

  • The Duchess of Rutland revealed she suspects her Belvoir castle is haunted
  • Speaking on Lorraine she said she heard bagpipes late at night from the lift shaft
  • The Duchess admitted ‘there’s things you can’t explain’ in their residence

The Duchess of Rutland revealed she suspects her 356-room Belvoir castle is haunted during an appearance on Lorraine. 

Emma Manners, 58, who appeared on the ITV morning show promoting her new book The Accidental Duchess, said she heard bagpipes late at night coming up the lift shaft of her Leicestershire castle.

The Duchess, who lives with her estranged husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, admitted ‘there’s things you can’t explain’ in their residence.   

The Duchess of Rutland, Emma Manners, 58, revealed she suspects her 356-room Belvoir castle is haunted on Lorraine on Thursday

The Duchess of Rutland, Emma Manners, 58, revealed she suspects her 356-room Belvoir castle is haunted on Lorraine on Thursday

When asked by Lorraine if they have ghosts she said: ‘Well we may have, I got rid of most of them, you have to be strong with ghosts because they get away at times.’ 

While chatting about the many famous people who have stayed in the castle with the family she revealed that actor Hugh Grant came to stay and her daughters played a spooky a prank on him.

Emma said: ‘He went to bed early one night, they knew he was terrified of ghosts, and the girls ran their nails down the door he came running out thinking it was a ghost.

‘The last laugh was on the girls as they then heard the sound of bagpipes coming up from the lift shaft in the middle of the night, they came running to find me and said “mummy there really is a ghost now” and I went to listen and no joke, that sound was coming up our lift shaft and I thought, “gosh, there’s things you can’t explain”.’

Emma, who was on the ITV show promoting her new book The Accidental Duchess, said she heard bagpipes late at night coming up the lift shaft of her Leicestershire castle

Emma, who was on the ITV show promoting her new book The Accidental Duchess, said she heard bagpipes late at night coming up the lift shaft of her Leicestershire castle

The Duchess, who lives with her estranged husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, told Lorraine 'there¿s things you can¿t explain¿ in their residence

The Duchess, who lives with her estranged husband David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, told Lorraine ‘there’s things you can’t explain’ in their residence

When asked by Lorraine if they have ghosts she said she 'got rid of most of them' saying you have to be 'strong with ghosts'

When asked by Lorraine if they have ghosts she said she ‘got rid of most of them’ saying you have to be ‘strong with ghosts’ 

‘I have never seen a ghost, I have felt them, but thank goodness I have never seen them.’

Elsewhere the Duchess explained that she wanted to bring her children up ‘grounded.’

The Duchess and Duke share five children, Lady Alice Manners, 25, Emma Manners, Lady Eliza Manners, 23, and Lady Violet Manners, 27 and Lord Hugo Manners, 19.

Speaking candidly she said: ‘For me it was really about keeping them grounded and keep their feet on the ground, so the girls ran the ice cream shop, they helped in the gift shop, waiting on tables, so everyone was really hands on.’

She admitted when they first moved into the castle on the 15,000-acre estate, which is featured in The Crown, they felt like they were living in the ‘guides’ home. 

She admitted when they first moved into the castle on the 15,000-acre estate, which is featured in The Crown, they felt like they were living in the 'guides' home

She admitted when they first moved into the castle on the 15,000-acre estate, which is featured in The Crown, they felt like they were living in the ‘guides’ home

Elsewhere on the show the duchess explained that she wanted to bring her children up 'grounded'

Elsewhere on the show the duchess explained that she wanted to bring her children up ‘grounded’

It comes after the Duchess of Rutland admitted that her living arrangements with her estranged husband are ‘wildly unconventional’.

The mother-of-five married David in June 1992 after they has met at a dinner party two years earlier. She has said her ‘biggest regret’ was the dissolution of her relationship.

The marriage broke down in 2012 after the Duke embarked on an affair with a woman who lived on his estate.

However Emma, chief executive of the estate, and David, who are still officially married, both continued to live at the 200-year-old stately home in separate towers and she has previously insisted the pair are still the ‘very best of friends’.   

Mother-of-five Emma married David Manners, 61, the 11th Duke of Rutland, in June 1992 after meeting at a dinner party in 1990. The pair are pictured in in 2012

Mother-of-five Emma married David Manners, 61, the 11th Duke of Rutland, in June 1992 after meeting at a dinner party in 1990. The pair are pictured in in 2012

‘It’s been wildly unconventional but maybe it’s grown up’, said Emma in an interview with the Sunday Times. 

‘The aristocracy has been behaving in those ways for generations.’

She spoke of the ‘horrendous’ separation from husband David, admitting daughter Lady Violet struggled originally with the split – but is now in full support of her relationship with estate manager, Phil Burtt.   

Speaking to guest Lady Emma Ingilby of Ripley Castle, in North Yorkshire, on her podcast Duchess, the Duchess of Rutland said she was sad she and the Duke hadn’t ‘made their journey together’.  

The duchess and duke share five children. Pictured; Lady Alice Manners, 25, Emma Manners,  Lady Eliza Manners, 23, and Lady Violet Manners, 27

The duchess and duke share five children. Pictured; Lady Alice Manners, 25, Emma Manners,  Lady Eliza Manners, 23, and Lady Violet Manners, 27

Emma, pictured with Lady Violet in 2018, has also discussed the impact of the pandemic on local businesses on her estate on her podcast

Emma, pictured with Lady Violet in 2018, has also discussed the impact of the pandemic on local businesses on her estate on her podcast

The marriage broke down when the Duke of Rutland had an affair with Andrea Webb (pictured in 2017 with Alexander Webb)

The marriage broke down when the Duke of Rutland had an affair with Andrea Webb (pictured in 2017 with Alexander Webb)

Emma said: ‘I am actually officially still married and the Duke and I are legally separated, but it of course, always brings that little bit within one that we didn’t just make that journey together.

‘But we are the very best of friends and lucky enough for me, he’s put me in charge of carrying on the mantle, together we run the estate and he’s entrusted me with the job.’  

Meanwhile, David is happily ensconced with Tiggy Maconochie, former agent to the late fashion photographer Helmut Newton, according to the Daily Mail’s Richard Eden.

The Duke split from his Brazilian-born lover, Andrea Webb, with whom he had had the affair, two years ago.

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