From Uptown Girls to Downton Abbey

How American Gilded-Age heiresses invaded the British Aristocracy

LA SALLE - If you love Downton Abbey, join the LaSalle Public Library on Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. for a virtual program that recounts the tales of some of the wealthy young Americans, who infused bank accounts of many stately homes in the UK, including close relatives of Winston Churchill and Princess Diana.

In this unique presentation, Claire Evans, culinary travel guide and former U.K resident, will present the “rich” history of Dollar Princesses from the U.S. Long before the British Invasion of the 1960s, the cash-strapped lords, viscounts and dukes of Great Britain shifted their focus from hunting foxes and pheasants to more lucrative targets: cash-flush Gilded-Age American socialites who were willing to trade their family’s money for an ancient title and often a chilly reception in the British aristocracy.

Evans started her love of most things British as she and her mother watched countless episodes of "Are You Being Served," "Fawlty Towers" and "The Vicar of Dibley" on PBS. She went on to study abroad in London, marry a British guy she met in Peoria, and move to England for several years, where she got an immersive education in modern English cooking, pub dining, tea shops, and welly boots for every occasion.

This program is free and open to the public and will be presented via Zoom. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link. To register, copy and paste the following link into your web browser

If you prefer to connect to this program using an iPad or smartphone rather than a computer, need more information or have questions, please contact Rachael Blomquist, Digital Content Librarian, at [email protected] or call the Library at (815) 223-2341.