Goodwood
First Broadcast: 9PM Thu 29 November 2012

Charles Gordon-Lennox is the Earl of March and Kinrara, heir to the Dukedom of Richmond, and owner of Goodwood.

Good looking, charming and with a maniacal attention to detail, Charles Gordon-Lennox has gone from being Stanley Kubrick's set photographer to hosting a playground for the world's rich and famous, drawn to his estate's famous racecourse and high-profile car events: the Festival of Speed, for the world's fastest cars, and Revival, which in 2011 saw the most valuable collection of cars ever assembled, worth $3 billion.

In the space of a year, Goodwood has been host to everybody from Jenson Button to Courtney Love, who stomped off stage at the Glorious Goodwood race ball when the crowd requested a Nirvana track by her late husband Kurt Cobain.

The estate has it all - the only top-class privately owned racecourse, an aerodrome, a hotel, a golf course, an organic farm and a Grand Prix circuit.

But behind the glamour and the celebrities, there is a harsher reality.

In the 21st century, the British aristocracy are no longer rich enough to simply enjoy their estates. They need their assets to make money to sustain the huge sums needed for investment and restoration.

Charles Gordon-Lennox is practically unique in having made Goodwood self-sufficient. It has been a huge struggle, which continues.

In the 1930s his family had to sell off their huge Scottish estates. Charles decided that, whatever happened, he would not give up on Goodwood, and so far, despite a worrying million-pound loss in 2010, he has succeeded by attracting hundreds of thousands of us to his events.

This success has been achieved at immense personal cost. Far from feeling privileged, Charles admits to occasionally hating being there and of being driven by a fear of failure.

Many aristocrats call this 'mortmain' - the dead hand of the past. Where most people might see a life of privilege and wealth, they see obligation.

The pressure of having to hand on an inheritance in as good a shape as they received it can change their estates into gilded cages.

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    1. The Aristocrats: Goodwood Goodwood Thu 29 Nov 2012

      Charles Gordon-Lennox is the Earl of March and Kinrara, heir to the Dukedom of Richmond, and owner of Goodwood.

      • This episode has subtitles available.
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      1. S1-Ep2: Goodwood This video is a clip S1-Ep2: Goodwood Video duration: 1:22 minutes

        Earl Charles Gordon-Lennox is heir to the Dukedom of Richmond, and owner of Goodwood
    2. The Aristocrats Blenheim Palace Thu 22 Nov 2012

      Offering an exclusive insight into one of the most famous - and historically one of the bitterest - father and son…

      • This episode has subtitles available.

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With unique access to names of note and noteriety, this series opens a window into a world of privilege, as aristocrats reveal what they think about their place in a changing society