MILLION DOLLAR AMERICAN PRINCESSES: LEADING LADIES
Premieres Sunday, January 24th at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Smithsonian Channel
In the season finale, Elizabeth McGovern follows the journeys of three extraordinary women who transformed their lives and blazed a trail for future generations. Nancy Astors place in history as the first woman to take her seat in the British Parliament is all the more extraordinary because she was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Following a disastrous first marriage she met the Anglo American Waldorf Astor, the son of one of the richest men in the world and settled in the Waldorfs magnificent English country estate, Cliveden. In 1919, Nancy campaigned successfully for her husbands former parliamentary seat in Plymouth. She held her own in male-dominated Westminster, particularly in legendary clashes with Winston Churchill and even in a confrontation with the Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin. Nancy Astors niece, Nancy Lancaster, would also have a huge effect on Britain, but in the field of design. She created what is still known today as the English Country House Look and, in doing so, crafted a reputation as one of the great designers of the 20th century. Pauline de Rothschild, born Pauline Potter to Americans living in Paris, became an international style icon and the wife of playboy Baron Philippe de Rothschild, owner of the world-famous Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Her first fashion house was a disaster, but she became a much sought after fashion stylist and one of the best paid women in New York.