The Rothschild Foundation is sad to announce the death of its Chairman, Lord Rothschild, businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist and cultural leader, who made a profound difference to many areas of British life.

He led, amongst other institutions, the National Gallery, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the family’s flagship, Waddesdon Manor. He supported many causes, some close to his home in Buckinghamshire, others as far afield as Israel, Albania, Greece and the United States. He was committed to helping communities, the environment, education and above all, the arts. His exemplary service to his country was recognised on several occasions, with a GBE, a CVO and as a member of the Order of Merit.

Jacob Rothschild was an extraordinary person, and his loss will be felt by many. The family is committed to continuing his legacy and the foundation which he loved and endowed. His daughter Hannah assumes the role of Chair of the Rothschild Foundation.

We will all be inspired by his vision, ambition, and his commitment to excellence.

Posted 28 July 2017

Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes: a volunteer's story

Imagine having the opportunity to go behind the scenes of a majestic manor house filled with exquisite antiques, magnificent artwork and captivating exhibitions. Fortunately for me I don’t have to because I am lucky enough to volunteer here at Waddesdon.

I support the marketing department one day a week, helping to promote the extensive programme of events through social media channels and public listings. Located in the roof of the main house, I have to admit I still find it thrilling to step beyond the red rope as I climb the stairs to the office!

There have been many exciting and diverse projects I’ve had the chance to help out with. Two of my highlights so far have been Feast 2017 and the opening of the Power & Portraiture exhibition.

My family and I have attended Feast every year since its inception and it has quickly become one our must-do annual events. As part of my role, I researched and wrote a short highlight for each one of the exhibitors and performers to be published on social media in the weeks preceding the opening. By the time I attended on the Sunday as a member of the public I felt as if I knew them all personally and was even able to give recommendations to my family as to which stalls I thought they would like!


As a life-long history fan, I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to hear about the spectacular Nicholas Hilliard portraits that were to form the centrepieces of the Power & Portraiture exhibition. After spending some time working with the team to tell the story on social media I was able to assist on the press day for the exhibition. It was then that I first saw the paintings; I was not disappointed, in fact, they are far more beautiful in person than can be demonstrated through photographs. I confess that I have visited the exhibition almost every week since and I notice something new every time. I highly recommend it!

Elizabeth I
Nicholas Hilliard, Queen Elizabeth I (1533 -1603), 1576-1578; Rothschild Family. acc. no. 27.2017. Photo © Hamilton Kerr Institute.

These are just small snapshots of the wonderful events and moments that I have experienced whilst volunteering here. I have a far greater appreciation of how much goes into the running of a heritage property and how much pride and passion people have for the work that they do. All the way through I have been encouraged to contribute my ideas, supported in learning new skills and have been made to feel a real part of the team (including being invited to Fudge Friday at the Treaterie!).  It is a real privilege to work with such a fantastically talented, supportive and fun team. They don’t know it yet – but they are stuck with me!

By Louise Bailey, marketing volunteer.

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