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  • 2016-01-04T01:00:00Z on Smithsonian Channel
  • 60 mins
  • 3 hours, 4 mins (4 episodes)
  • United States
  • Chinese
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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 explores the time between the 1870s and the outbreak of World War One, when more than 200 daughters of America's new industrial millionaires marry into the money-strapped British aristocracy. They use their affluence, allure and ingenuity to their advantage, and they bring dramatic changes to the English ruling class and eventually the world.
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4 episodes

2x01 Queens of the Screen

  • Season Premiere

    2016-01-04T01:00:00Z — 46 mins

They were three American actresses about to take on the biggest roles of their careers, thousands of miles from Los Angeles. Join "Downton Abbey" star Elizabeth McGovern as she details how Grace Kelly, Gloria Swanson, and Rita Hayworth transformed from Hollywood royalty to part of European nobility. Unlike previous Million Dollar American Princesses, these starlets also brought unparalleled glamour and fame to the aristocracy, as well as dramatic twists and turns that would rival any one of their movies.

2x02 Queens of Culture

  • 2016-01-11T01:00:00Z — 46 mins

They had passions for paintings, music, entertaining, and obliterating the constraints of societal norms. Meet the "Queens of Culture," three modern, empowered Million Dollar American Princesses who blazed a trail through the arts world in Europe and eventually the world. "Downton Abbey" star Elizabeth McGovern shows how Winnaretta Singer, Sara Murphy, and Peggy Guggenheim inspired and supported some of the most innovative creative talents of the 20th century, from Stravinsky and Picasso to F. Scott Fitzgerald and Jackson Pollock.

2x03 Beautiful and Doomed

  • 2016-01-18T01:00:00Z — 46 mins

Host Elizabeth McGovern continues her exploration of the Million Dollar American Princesses who inspired the series "Downton Abbey" with the stories of three women who looked for love, but found disaster instead. Witness the tragic tales of Barbara Hutton, Clara Ward, and Kathleen "Kick" Kennedy, women of beauty, wealth, and power, who married into European nobility but ended up shunned by society, family, and the happy endings they hoped to achieve.

2x04 Leading Ladies

  • 2016-01-25T01:00:00Z — 46 mins

They were three leading ladies, American heiresses who came to England and had a major impact on the fashion world, interior design, and even Parliament. Elizabeth McGovern's exploration of the women who inspired the acclaimed series "Downton Abbey" brings us the stories of Nancy Astor, Nancy Lancaster and Pauline de Rothschild. They crossed the Atlantic for very different reasons and embarked on very different paths to fame, but each woman shared one attribute: the desire to stand up and be heard, and they were.

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