British aristocrat George Curzon primarily married American heiress Mary Leiter for her money. What he didn't anticipate was the making of the perfect political power couple.
Marriages between the daughters of new-money Americans and a cash-strapped British aristocracy hit its stride by 1895. But these unions come at a price, financially and emotionally. While some women find true love overseas, others, like Consuelo Vanderbilt, find themselves mired in misery, loneliness and scandal. Host Elizabeth McGovern reveals how their stories inspired the hit series "Downton Abbey." Then, she explores how the daughters of America's wealthy industrialists survived, and even thrived, in their new aristocratic surroundings.
Watch this episode online now.
Stream hundreds of shows by starting your free trial to Smithsonian Channel Plus.
Access even more free Smithsonian Channel full episodes and documentaries online through participating TV providers.
Find out if your television provider carries Smithsonian Channel.
Don't panic! It's simple to upgrade to the latest version of one of these browsers:
Don't panic! To get the best possible experience on smithsonianchannel.com we recommend you upgrade your operating system.
For the best possible site experience, please use Chrome for Android.
Add username "SmithsonianChan" on Snapchat for fun and fascinating facts. We'll be sharing spontaneous photos and videos as inspiration strikes.