Duchess of Rutland says bullying butlers left her 'sobbing' within first month at Belvoir Castle

Emma Manners, Duchess of Rutland - Getty 
Emma Manners, Duchess of Rutland - Getty

The Duchess of Rutland has revealed that bullying butlers and judgmental guests left her “sobbing” within the first month of living at Belvoir Castle.

Mother-of-five Emma Manners, 57, moved into Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, in June 1992 after marrying David Manners, the 11th Duke of Rutland, who she separated from in 2012.

But in her new podcast series, Duchess, she admitted that the castle hadn’t always felt like home - and that she had been left “sobbing” within her first month of living there.

Speaking to guest Demetra Lindsay of Hedingham Castle, in Essex, she said: “I think we must've been there for about a month, and there were loads of butlers and loads of cooks and every corridor had another someone doing something.

“I so remember opening a door and hearing the butlers downstairs saying "have we broken her yet?" And I remember, like you, having children hanging off every hip, sobbing down the corridor. It's the worse feeling because it doesn't feel like home then.”

She said the staff were “playing” with her and that she didn’t know what she was doing.

“I felt like a ball they were bouncing and it was so difficult because on so many levels I was ill-equipped for the job. I didn't understand etiquette, I didn't understand how you spoke to a butler,” she added.

The Duchess also noted a time she was chastised by female guests at a dinner party after she asked her butler, Horton, to sing.

“I was so deflated. It was strange. All the time you had judgment, everywhere you went people judging your role, how you did it, how you performed it... you weren't getting it right,” she said.

The Duchess, who is chief executive of the estate, later confessed that she struggled to come to terms with her titles.

'When [I] first got married and became Lady Granby - I remember sobbing to my mother-in-law and saying "I just can't bear when people call me your Ladyship, it just feels so wrong".