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Nicole, Duchess of Bedford obituary

She made Woburn Abbey Britain's most popular stately home

Nicole Milinaire-Russell, Dowager Duchess of Bedford, who has died aged 92, was, by her own account, ruefully overworked for 14 years in the cause of converting into a highly profitable business a stately home she had never wholly liked living in. "Man is the creator, woman the organiser," she proclaimed soon after taking up residence at Woburn Abbey, Bedfordshire, in 1960 as the wife of the 13th Duke.

By 1974, when she and her husband moved out to hand over to his son Robin, the Marquess of Tavistock, Woburn had become the most popular stately home in the country. Robin was the eldest of the three sons from the duke's two previous marriages, and his continuation of the enterprise was the subject of the TV series Country House (1999-2002).

In 2003 Nicole sent from her flat in Monaco a letter to newspaper editors urging them:

See full article on The Guardian - Film News