British drama series Downton Abbey first aired in 2010, with zero expectations and little promotion. Years later, it is one of the best drama series in the television industry—the characters, their relationships, the drama, the historical accuracy—everything about the Downton Abbey story drew viewers’ attention and made them fall in love with the show.
What made fans appreciate the show more is because of the historical accuracy and the strong character portrayal in the series. History calls for facts! The Downton Abbey story has some facts that would surprise even the die-hard fans. Here are some fascinating facts about Downton Abbey!
1) The Downton Abbey is the Home of a Real British Family
Who Were Announced Dead During the Start of the Series?
- A. Cousins James and Patrick Crawley
- B. Cora’s Parents
- C. Lady Mary Crawley
- D. Henry Talbot
The building of Downton Abbey in the real world is known as the Highclere Castle, situated in Hampshire, England. This impressive Victorian-era castle is owned by the Porchester family, the Earls of Carnarvon.
2) The Real Downton Abbey Served as a Hospital in World War I
Downton Abbey story seasons 2’s major plot involves the Crawleys making the Abbey serve as an infirmary for soldiers fighting in the Great War. This action coincides with Abbey’s real transformation where Highclere Castle and its stewards, the Carnarvons, did the exact same thing. The Countess of Carnarvon oversaw the Abbey serving as a temporary hospital to support the soldiers.
3) Some of the Costumes Are Made From Real Vintage Pieces… but They Don’t Always Smell Fresh
The show never fails to exhibit jaw-dropping costumes for its viewers to get mesmerized. To make it even better, the show’s Costume Designer Susannah Buxton designed some costumes from real vintage pieces.
Even though these historically accurate costumes are great to look at on the small screens, they aren’t very comfortable or fun to wear for the actors. The vintage pieces are restricted from laundering, making them less favorable to wear.
4) This Character’s Storyline Is Based on a Real American Aristocrat
Cora Crawley, the Countess of Grantham is a character based on the story of a real American aristocrat. Cora’s character was loosely based on Mary Leiter, an American heiress who married George Curzon. The story of Robert and Cora too was based on the Curzon couple.
In 1899, George and Mary became the Viceroy and Vicereine of India respectively, making Mary the highest-ranking American in the history of Britain.
5) The Queen Loves The Show
Downton Abbey could never get better recognition than this! Queen Elizabeth II is fond of the show, in a ‘hilarious’ way. Brian Hoey, author of the book “At Home With The Queen” told People that Her Majesty loves to pick out mistakes from the ‘almost’ historically accurate show.
He added that “The Queen did notice on one episode that there was a young so-called British officer wearing medals which had not been awarded when he was supposed to be alive. He was fighting in the First World War and the medals on his chest did not come in until the Second World War.”
Are you worthy enough to answer this quiz about the great noble family of England? Find out now!