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Charity fundraiser will allow Downton Abbey fans to live like lords...for a few hours

Downton Abbey fans can live like the Crawley family for a few hours - and even learn the skills of their staff - to raise money for charity.

An online auction being staged by Christie's will offer the rare chance to stay at Highclere Castle - where the hit ITV show is filmed - as well as enjoying a meal at the stately home.

The sale - launching tomorrow - will be in aid of Armed Forces charities and coincides with commemoration of the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Among the lots is the chance for three couples to stay with cocktails and dinner before bedding down in the quarters used in the period drama by Lady Sybil, Lady Edith and Lady Cora, expected to go for upwards of £10,000.

Also on offer is a tour of the State Rooms and lessons in laying the table by Highclere's butlers, (estimated to go for more than £2,000), a cooking lesson in the Highclere kitchen from the chef (upwards of £1,000) and a Champagne three-course meal (more than £5,000).

The online Heroes At Highclere auction, which will continue until August 14, comes as the property stages an exhibition on Sunday called Centenary Stories featuring a number of period artefacts which will be used to explain the experiences of many of those who were involved in the First World War.

They include unusual items such as a silver medal for growing vegetable to sustain the troops in the trenches. They will also be displayed on the Christie's website until January.

Further details are at christies.com/heroesathighclere.

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