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Million Dollar American Princesses:

Becoming a Million Dollar American Princess

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Becoming a Million Dollar American Princess

Short | 02:26

Actor Roanna Davidson walks us through the challenges and delights of becoming Winnaretta Singer, the provocative heir to a major sewing machine fortune and one of the bold women featured in season 2 of Million Dollar American Princesses.

More About This series

Join Elizabeth McGovern as she takes an in-depth look at the young American heiresses whose real life stories inspired the acclaimed TV drama "Downton Abbey." This series takes you from the late 1800s, when daughters of America's new industrial millionaires marry into the money-strapped British aristocracy, to the 20th century, when a new kind of American Princess wields power not through wealth, but through character, style, and wit. Through the decades, these women bring dramatic change to the European aristocracy and eventually the world.


  • Frances Work
  • Consuelo Yznaga
  • Jennie Jerome
  • Wallis Simpson
  • Kathleen
  • Sara Murphy
  • Consuelo Vanderbilt
  • Clara Ward
  • Winnaretta Singer
  • Mary Leiter
  • Grace Kelly
  • Gloria Swanson
  • Elizabeth McGovern, Actor and Presenter
  • Peggy Guggenheim
  • Frances Work

    Frances Work

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    Frances "Fanny" Work (October 27, 1857 -- January 26, 1947) was the daughter of eccentric, self-made millionaire Frank Work. She grew up in fabulous wealth in their Elm Court home in Newport, Rhode Island, where her descendants continue to live to this day.

    In 1878, Fanny met James Burke Roche, the second son of Baron Fermoy. Despite her father's objections and barely-concealed annoyance, they were married in September 1880. It lasted just seven years.

    Tired of supporting the extravagant tastes of his son-in-law, Frank Work negotiated an extraordinary settlement, agreeing to pay off James's debts in return for a divorce and custody of his sons. Such was Frank Work's disdain for the British upper class that he would later stipulate in his will that none of his surviving family should ever visit Britain again.

    Had his wishes been honored, the course of history might have been different. Years later, Fanny's granddaughter gave birth to a girl, named Diana Frances Spencer. The world would later know her as the iconic Princess Di.

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