Inveraray Castle’s starring role in the Christmas Day special of the period drama, Downton Abbey, with the series of gorgeous shots of the pretty castle and its lush grounds, will have been a marketing putsch beyond price.
Its spell in the headlines has, however, brought what will be less welcome aspects of its history back to the fore – the late Margaret, Duchess of Argyll whose divorce from the 11th Duke of Argyll produced revelations which galvanised Britain for over three years and must have kept Inveraray on its toes.
Today’s Daily Mail has a major spread by author Michael Thornton, claiming that he was seduced at the castle at the age of 17 by the then Duchess, a legendary beauty with an out-of-control libido, who was the third of the then Duke’s four wives.
Thornton must have had a lively youth.
It is only six years since he claimed that Noel Coward tried to seduce him too, at the age of 19, in the Dorchester Hotel.
With Inveraray Castle’s recent fame born of the film industry, you have to say that Thornton certainly knew how to choose his locations.