Thirty years in charge of a ‘wonderland’

Rosie Gilligan talks to Chatsworth’s head housekeeper about Christmas in a stately home, the sad loss of the Dowager Duchess, her own book and even housemaid’s knee.

CHRISTINE ROBINSON, Head Housekeeper at Chatsworth House, points to the bottom half of a fluffy White Rabbit resting on the windowsill in her office. ‘The theme of this year’s Christmas at Chatsworth is ‘Alice’s Wonderland’,’ she explains, ‘and children will be encouraged to stroke him as he disappears down the rabbit hole. I imagine that he’ll be very grey by the end of it!’

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