IN WHAT could have been a scene from the drama itself, royalty is due at Downton Abbey.
The Duchess of Cambridge is to visit the set of the award-winning series next week, where she will meet screenwriter Lord Fellowes and cast members Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Robert James-Collier.
But it won’t be the grandeur of the ballroom or the beautifully-kept grounds, but the servants quarters that she will visit, to watch filming of the sixth series on the set’s Servants Hall at Ealing Studio, before posing with cast members and crew for photographs.
While the interior shots may be filmed in London, including kitchen, servants quarters and working areas, the fictional Abbey is based in Yorkshire. Although Downton is not specifically based on a particular town, Ripon, Richmond, Thirsk, Easingwold and other North Yorkshire towns have all been mentioned by characters in the series.
Kate’s visit on March 12 will allow her to see Downton Abbey’s make-up artists, costume designers, seamstresses and cutters at work, as she is escorted around the set by series executive producer Liz Trubridge.
She will then unveil a plaque alongside Bonneville, who plays the Earl of Grantham in the series, to commemorate the visit.
Other cast members who will meet the Duchess include Elizabeth McGovern, Lesley Nicol and Sophie McShera.
In 2013, Allen Leech, who played Tom Branson in the drama, revealed how Prince William told him he was “a big fan” of the show.