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Old 15-04-15, 14:47   #1
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European Union What DID the Downton Abbey Countess Say to The Queen?

So What DID the Dowager Countess Say to Her Majesty?

Daily Mail UK, 15 April 2015

Her waspish remarks and cutting put-downs livened up many a dinner in Downton Abbey, and now Dame Maggie Smith has been invited to entertain the Queen.

The 80-year-old actress, who plays the Dowager Countess of Grantham in ITV’s popular period drama, attended a dinner party at Windsor on Monday and stayed the night at the castle.

Other guests invited by the Queen and Prince Philip, who is known for his own pithy comments, included the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby; Bank of England Governor Mark Carney; and Prince Andrew.

Honoured: Dame Maggie Smith is made a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour by Queen Elizabeth II
- during an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle in October 2014

Amusingly, the U.S. Ambassador Matthew Barzun, who rudely complained about British food, was also there.
Last autumn, Barzun, who took up his London posting the previous year, moaned: ‘I must have had lamb and potatoes 180 times since I have been here. There are limits and I have reached them.’

A Palace spokesman declines to comment on whether lamb was served at Windsor.

Barzun also broke with convention by revealing comments that the Queen had made to him at a private meeting at Buckingham Palace.
He said she confided that she loathes the sea of mobile telephones that greets her every move in public.

He said she found it ‘strange’ to see nothing but the backs of phones whenever she looks up. He disclosed: ‘She was essentially saying: “I miss eye contact.” ’

While Welby, Carney and Barzun attended the dinner with their wives, Dame Maggie arrived alone.
She lost her husband, playwright Beverley Cross, in 1998. Asked if she was lonely after his death, she replied:

‘I don’t know. It seems a bit pointless. Going on one’s own and not having someone to share it with.’

It is not the first time Dame Maggie has been entertained at a royal residence. Prince Charles held a joint 80th birthday for her and his friend, playwright Sir Ronald Harwood, at Clarence House.
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