Ladies of London's second season is off to a dishy start—and a good deal of credit goes to Julie Montagu, who was promoted to a main cast member after a supporting role last year. On a show where everyone's trying to flaunt their wealth and status, Montagu is refreshingly honest about her family's rather unique financial situation. Montagu is married the heir to the Earl of Sandwich, and as a result, the couple inherited the family's sprawling estate, Mapperton.
Sounds fabulous, sure, but as Montagu—aka Viscountess Hinchingbrooke, thank you very much—says keeping it up costs a small fortune. "We don't have the income to support it," Montagu candidly told E! News. "So we've opened the house up to the public to generate the income to keep it running. The Montagu history goes back to the early 1600s – you don't want to be the generation that has to sell it."
With her husband in the country running Mapperton, Montagu is in the city raising their four kids. Compared to her flashier costars, Montagu's lifestyle is the most relatable. "My house is really small, I don't have a driver, I don't have crazy jewelry and I don't care about having my hair and makeup done. I've had to get over my insecurity of not being so super glamorous," she told us.
But down-to-earth most definitely does not mean dull. In fact, Montagu let us know she's part of some major fireworks later this season. "There is high drama between me and Caroline [Stanbury] that plays out and it's a doozy," she teases.
Could it have anything to do with that mysterious "major dig" Stanbury throws her way, a snippet of which we saw in the promo? "I can't tell you what the dig is about," Montagu said. "But I'm clearly crying. She said something that really touched me on a personal level. I mean, I was hysterical."
On a happier note, she has found a kindred spirit in newcomer Baroness Caroline Fleming, who also carries a title…and a keen sense of humor.
"She's just an original," Montagu raved. "She adds so much color and flair and it's all authentic."
Check out the exclusive video above of Montagu and Fleming yukking it up at a dinner party — and Stanbury's horrified reaction!
Ladies of London airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on Bravo.
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)