Like millions of infatuated followers of DOWNTON ABBEY, now in its 4th Season, I am glued to my television set on Sunday nights.
During a recent interview of the present owners, The Earl of Carnarvon and Lady Carnarvon, they talked about the history of Highclere Castle ( Downton Abbey) and the Fifth Earl, George Herbert, who was fascinated by Egypt. He became an Egyptologist and financed the excavations of Howard Carter in the Valley of the Kings for many years – and then on November 6, 1922 Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered, making the world aware of Lord Carnarvon, owner of Highclere Castle – Downton Abbey.
After many months of watching Downton Abbey we are familiar with Lord Carnarvon’s castle, but what about Howard Cater, where did he live?
While leaving the Valley of the Kings on one of my visits I noticed a modest small house sitting between two roads on what looked like a deserted lot. Nothing about it was very inviting, but that changed when I found out who had lived there
“What is that over there?” I asked Mohamed, my guide.
“That is Howard Carter’s house; we can visit it tomorrow if you like?” When I heard his name, I asked the driver to stop – I wanted to go and see it right now.
The house is as modest on the inside as it looks on the outside. Howard Carter lived here during the years he oversaw the excavations in the Valley of the Kings. It is functional, but offers very little comfort.
Howard Carter’s life has always interested me because of his lifelong love for Egypt and his unfaltering determination and believe that one day he would find what he was looking for. And he did. On November 6, 1922 he and Lord Carnavon entered Tutankhamun’s tomb, where they found a large collection of treasures and gold.
So what do Downton Abbey and Egypt have in common? Lord Carnarvon!
More from Egypt soon