Downton Abbey The Movie

September 23, 2019

By Tab Byrum

What better way to head into the Fall season than with the return of an old friend from TV in the form of a new film. I have to say right off the bat that I’m a HUGE fan of Downton Abbey, I have been since the first season it came to our televisions. Like all good things, it had to come to an end and did back in early 2016. So, I was over the moon last year when we began hearing that the writer/creator of Downton, Julian Fellowes, was putting together a film version that would pick up right where the TV series left off. We saw the movie over the weekend and let me say it does NOT disappoint. (above image via)

The beautiful Highclere Castle plays the part of  Downton Abbey in the movie and TV show.  (via)

The film picks up right where we stopped, it’s 1927 and life continues at the beautiful country home of the Earl of Grantham and his family. The Earl and Countess are happy, Lady Mary is married to her dashing husband, Henry Talbot, and he’s working on building his car dealership business. Lady Edith is now the Marchioness of Hexam after marrying Bertie Pelham and she and Marigold are now living as mother and daughter in Brancaster Castle. Tom Branson continues to help Mary run the estate as well as the car business with Henry but there is something missing from his life, could it be love? Everyone’s favorite Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley, is around and full of advice, one-liners, and verbal zingers galore. The Crawley’s idyllic country life is totally turned upside down though when they receive a letter from Buckingham Palace saying that King George V and Queen Mary would like to stay the night at Downton Abbey on an upcoming tour they are making of the Yorkshire countryside. Now we head downstairs to check on the staff and heart of Downton Abbey. Mr. Barrow is now the Butler and Mrs. Hughes is still the Head Housekeeper, Anna is still Lady Mary’s ladies maid and Mr. Bates, Anna’s husband, is still Lord Grantham’s valet. Mrs. Patmore and Daisy are still cooking and creating amazing meals and Mr. Moseley and Baxter are doing their bit to keep the house and it’s occupants happy and looking divine. 

Lady Edith and her family arrive at Downton to be a part of the Royal Visit from the King and Queen. I love that Laura Carmichael’s character of Edith has been allowed to come into her own, she looked gorgeous and Edith seemed very happy…finally. (via)

The movie follows the turmoil and fun it took in 1927 to pull off something like a royal visit and it’s wonderful to see all the familiar faces and hear their discussions and plottings. The movie, just like the TV show, is filled with gorgeous shots of the house and all the wonderful furniture and art that fills it. The clothes and jewels the ladies wear are amazing and I loved reading a recent article on how many of the outfits are truly vintage and picked up at Markets in London and Paris. One thing that stood out to me was the effort made in recreating royal jewels worn by Queen Mary, including the Vladimir Tiara with the Emerald Drops and the Cambridge Emeralds. 

Here you can see the effort made to recreate royal jewels that were worn by the real Queen Mary in the first half of the 20th century that are still being worn by Queen Elizabeth II today. This is the Vladimir Tiara and Cambridge Emerald necklace and brooch worn by Geraldine James as Queen Mary on the Right and QEII wearing the real thing on the left at a dinner for the Prime Minister of Ireland. (via)

Cora and her daughter’s travel to Harewood House to have tea with Princess Mary, the daughter of King George V and Queen Mary. Here you can see the amazing clothes and hats the ladies wear as well as the home and flowers.  (via)

The Crawley family assembles on the front-drive when their royal guests arrive. A happy Lady Edith helps Granny Violet out while Lord and Lady Grantham follow close behind. (via)

The servants who keep life humming along at Downton also assemble on the drive to greet their King and Queen. (via)

Tension is tight between the Dowager Countess of Grantham (Maggie Smith) and her cousin-in-law, Maude Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton). All will be revealed. (via)

The Crawley ladies all dressed for the Ball held at Harewood House in honor of their Majesties visit. I recently read that Lady Mary’s gown (on the left) is a real gown from the 1920s found by the costume department at a market in London. (via)

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the music. Michael and I recently watched all 52 episodes of the original TV series in anticipation of the film and I have to say I had forgotten how much the music of Downton Abbey plays a part in telling the stories of the Crawley family and their staff. I can honestly say my heart swelled up when I heard the first familiar chords of the Downton Abbey theme while watching it play out on a big screen in a darkened theater. If you were a fan of the original series I hope you will see the film ASAP and even if you aren’t, go see it anyway, although I’m not sure it’s something you would enjoy as much as you would if you had seen all six seasons of the TV show. There’s already talk of sequel film to this one and I’m already counting the days and planning our next trip to the UK. Enjoy!!!

Until we meet again… (via)

Words are my own.

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