Planning any activity for the Ladies of London should require hazard pay and quite possibly extra security, so when Julie Montagu planned a weekend for the women in the English countryside at the historic Mapperton Estate, she didn’t go into it blindly. The health and wellness expert (also known in English society as Lady Hinchingbrooke—that’s right, she has royal ties) tells OK! how she handled a potentially drama-filled weekend.
OK!: What made you want to organize a weekend away for this group of women?
Julie Montagu: It’s because really only one of them, Annabelle, has ever sort of done the whole country great estate. Growing up Annabelle was best friends with my husband and so she knew proper etiquette. So when I planned it I said, screw it, I’m just going to give them a great English day out. I didn’t want to make it other than what we would normally do down there. It was hilarious. This episode…it is un-freaking-real how good it is. It’s crazy. It’s like Downton Abbey. Even all of the other ladies who I’ve been speaking to on the phone, they’re like, this is by far the best episode. I think it’s having all of us and getting a tour of Mapperton Gardens by my mother-in-law. Mapperton Gardens are probably one of the top three gardens to visit in England. None of those ladies would go and do that normally. And then we got the main games keeper to do clay pigeon shooting and that is hilarious watching them try to even hold a gun. It’s great to see their reactions. It’s very funny.
OK!: Were you concerned about them bringing a lot of drama into the weekend?
JM: Yes. Juliet and Annabelle weren’t speaking to each other and Annabelle is one of my good friends. I was slightly freaking out but then I thought about this and I told all of them to bring yoga clothes because I knew if a massive fight erupted I was going to literally take them in the garden and give them a yoga lesson. I was really nervous for my in-laws to meet them. I thought, “Oh my God, if they have a fight in this house…” I’d say overall they were well behaved but there were definitely some bad manners at the dinner table, horrendous manners. Maybe it’s because alcohol was involved.
OK!: Alcohol can certainly have that effect.
JM: The English do know how to drink. We drink during the day at lunch. During the day you have your wine and then in the afternoon you usually have champagne or a little bit of sherry. And then in the evening you have your drinks in one room and then your dinner in another room. You’re just drinking all day long. I think everyone was just drinking all day long and that is when the bad manners really creeped in.
OK!: What’s something you’ve learned about Annabelle over the years?
JM: I feel throughout the four episodes that have aired for some reason Annabelle is getting a bad rep. She’s amazing. She would drop anything for anybody and go and take care of you. She calls all of the time to check in if you’re okay and she gives solid advice. If I had a problem the person I would go to talk about my problem would be Annabelle. She’s so wise and articulate and she knows exactly what to say.
Watch how the women fare at Mapperton on this week’s Ladies of London, airing Monday at 10/9c on Bravo.
Which of the ladies is your favorite thus far? Tell us in the comments or tweet @OKMagazine.