The British Are Coming: Alastair Bruce And Charles Spencer

Jul 1, 2017

First up Alastair Bruce, historical advisor to “Downton Abbey” for five seasons. Bruce’s personal story is as interesting as any plot on the award-winning historical drama.

He is a direct descendant of Scottish royalty, and counts Robert the Bruce, one of Scotland’s most revered kings, as an ancestor. His grandfather three times removed was the man who took the Elgin Marbles from the Parthenon in Greece, thus sparking one of the greatest art controversies of all time. Bruce was an officer in the Falklands War and is a close associate of Prince Edward. He talks with about his own family story and then describes his role on "Downton Abbey." This conversation first aired on our show in January of 2015

Then, we have a conversation with Charles Spencer, the 9th Earl Spencer. He’s a journalist, author and broadcaster. He is also the owner of Althorp, the historic Grade I British estate. But he is best-known as the brother of Princess Diana, and it was his moving oration at his sister’s funeral that caught the attention of the world. We visited with Lord Spencer in September of 2015. He’d just published a book about the shocking execution of his ancestor King Charles I, and while the book is no longer new, the story remains fascinating.

When we first arranged the interview, we were told to avoid asking questions about Princess Diana. But, as we talked, he warmed to the conversation, and so, later in our discussion, he talks openly about his memories of her.