King Tut & the Real Downton Abbey: Luncheon/Tea at the LeMont

03/05/2023 01:00 PM - 03:00 PM ET


History Society Event


  • $75.00


LeMont Restaurant
1114 Grandview Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15211
United States of America


King Tut & the Real Downton Abbey: Luncheon/Tea at the LeMont


“ my eyes grew accustomed to the light, details of the room within emerged slowly from the mist, strange animals, statues, and gold - everywhere the glint of gold. For the moment - an eternity it must have seemed to the others standing by - I was struck dumb with amazement, and when Lord Carnarvon, unable to stand the suspense any longer, inquired anxiously, 'Can you see anything?' it was all I could do to get out the words, 'Yes, wonderful things.”

― Howard Carter, The Tomb of Tutankhamen (1923)



Doors opened 100 years ago to the treasures of King Tutankhamun’s tomb. The two men responsible for the discovery were archaeologist Howard Carter and George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, whose descendents still reside at the family seat, Highclere Castle, today perhaps best known as the set of "Downton Abbey."


The enormous dowry Lord Carnarvon received by marrying the illegitimate daughter of a banking tycoon financed the explorations. The story of Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon,  merges the facts of entertaining a king, running an estate and turning the castle into a hospital during World War I with the fictional portrayal of the Crawley family in Downton Abbey.


Speaker Kim Szczypinski will detail the painstaking search for the tomb of the boy-pharaoh, with insight into the life of the 14th century BCE Egyptians.  She'll also chronicle the life and sudden death of Lord Carnarvon that fueled rumors of the “curse of the pharaohs.”  Co-presenter Debbie Popp Gilbert will revel the upstairs and downstairs parallels of those turbulent times at Highclere Castle with the story lines of Julian Fellowes’ "Downton Abbey."  All this as we enjoy a scrumptous luncheon/tea at the legendary LeMont restaurant atop Mt. Washington.


Both speakers serve on the Executive Board of Britsburgh and have previously presented programs on the RMS Titanic and RMS Queen Mary. Kim works as study abroad coordinator at Duquesne University and has occasionally taken students on history study abroad programs in he UK and Europe.  Debbie is a retired newspaper editor active with historical societies and travels regularly to Great Britain.


Members login and register for $55 tickets; Non-Members $75


For more information, contact Kim Szczypinski of Britsburgh at




Kim Szczypinski is Study Abroad Coordinator at Duquesne University, from which she holds a master's degree in History.  Her area of particular interest is British History, Victorian era through World War II.  Since childhood, she has also had a keen interest in ancient Egypt and has visited the country.  She has taught study abroad courses in Europe about the First World War for Duquesne students.  She currently serves as Vice President and Secretary of Britsburgh.  She is also on the Board of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Dickens Fellowship and is a member of the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers, a club for Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts.


Debbie Popp Gilbert of Elizabeth Township, Pa. retired as managing editor of a community newspaper after 36 years in journalism.  Her days are filled by volunteering at church, presenting vintage fashion shows for the local historical society and restoring the society’s 1790 log house. A bit of an Anglophile, she and her husband Vaughn travel regularly to Great Britain and lead friends on tours there, as well organizing more regional trips for senior citizens. They have visited Highclere Castle.  They cherish time with their adult daughter McKenna.








Assorted Passed Hors D'Oeuvres

Crudité and Cheese Platter

Le Mont Salad

Pasta Salad

Mini-Tea Sandwiches (Turkey, Salmon, Tomato Basil and BLT)

Fruit Platter

Mini-Pastries (Chocolate-dipped fruits, cream puffs, mini-chocolate patés)

Coffee and Tea


Vallet parking is available (not included in ticket price).


Tickets: Members $55; Non-members $75



Explore fascinating British-themed topics with the guidance of experts and enjoy the company and conversation of fellow enthusiasts as a member of Britsburgh. Members enjoy programs on topics such as the Arts, Beer, History, British Mystery, Literarature, Theatre, and Tea. among others. If you are not already a member, we would like to invite you to consider becoming one. To become a member, visit the Britsburgh membership page.




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