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Old 12-03-15, 18:01   #1
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European Union PhOtOs-There's a New REAL Duchess at Downton Abbey

There's a New Duchess at Downton! Pregnant Kate Poses with the Stars and Creator of Hit ITV Show for a Very Special Souvenir Photo

  • The Duchess of Cambridge visited the set of the long-running ITV drama at Ealing Studios in London
  • She is the third royal to meet Downton stars in less than a week and confessed to being a fan in 2011
  • Last week saw a visit from the Countess of Wessex while Charles and Camilla hobnobbed with stars on Monday
  • Kate, who is eight months pregnant, was on set to watch a scene from series six being filmed
  • Looked wonderful in an £69 cream 'princess line' coat by High Street maternity brand, Jojo Maman Bebe
  • Excited cast tweeted about the Duchess' visit ahead of time, among them Joanne Froggatt
  • Ms Froggatt wrote about 'an exciting day ahead' and revealed a 'very special visitor' would be popping in
  • She was shown around by creator Julian Fellowes and also met cast members but not Dame Maggie Smith
  • Dame Maggie, who plays the Dowager Duchess of Grantham, was forced to cancel after falling ill
Daily Mail UK, 12 March 2015

The Duchess of Cambridge made a guest appearance at Downton Abbey today, visiting cast and crew on set at London's Ealing Studios. During the visit, which overran by 30 minutes because she was enjoying herself so much, the Duchess posed for a group photo with the cast and was shown around by creator Julian Fellowes.

Pictured: STANDING (left to right): Ld Lt Sir David Brewer, Nigel Marchant (Executive Producer), Michael Fox, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle, Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Sophie McShera, Robert James-Collier, Kevin Doyle, Lesley Nicol, Alastair Bruce (Historical Advisor), Raquel Cassidy, Chris Croucher (Producer) SEATED (left to right): Gareth Neame (Executive Producer), Michelle Dockery, Penelope Wilton, Duchess of Cambridge, Lord Julian Fellowes, Eva Samms, Laura Carmichael, Liz Trubridge (Executive Producer) FRONT ROW: Oliver Barker

They ought to be getting used to royal visits by now. Barely a week after the Countess of Wessex visited the set with the Mexican First Lady in tow, the stars of Downton Abbey had another regal guest - this time, the Duchess of Cambridge.

During her tour Kate, who is due to give birth in less than six weeks, was shown into the wardrobe department and the make-up room before watching a scene from series six being filmed.
Kate, 33, has long been a fan of the ITV drama and famously revealed that she watches the show with husband Prince William during a conversation with actress Jessica Findlay-Brown in 2011.

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Who's who at Downton Abbey: The Duchess posed with many of the cast, the producers and the show's historical adviser, Alastair Bruce

Striking a pose: The Duchess posed for a photo with the cast of Downton Abbey including Lady Mary (front row, second left)

Sharing a joke: The Duchess bursts into laughter during a chat with actor Jim Carter who plays long-serving butler, Carson

Enjoying herself: The Duchess, seen here with Robert James-Collier who plays Thomas, stayed an extra half an hour

Excited: Actress Joanne Froggatt (left) had tweeted about the visit beforehand. Pictured: Kate chats to Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary)

In the kitchen: The Duchess chats to actresses Sophie McShera and Lesley Nicol over a cake in the Downton kitchen

Clothes galore: The Duchess was shown around the Downton costume department by designer Anna Robbins (right)

Can I have a go? The Duchess is shown the servant's bells by actor Brendan Coyle who plays John Bates

The Duchess, resplendent in an £69 cream coat by maternity label Jojo Maman Bebe, was presented with a posy by Zac Barker, four, who along with twin brother Oliver plays Lady Mary's son George.

Although cast members such as Joanne Froggatt, Laura Carmichael and little Zac Barker (Master George) were on hand to greet the Duchess and later appear in a photo with her, Ms Findlay-Brown was missing, her character Lady Sybil having been killed off in 2012.

Ms Froggatt, who plays lady's maid Anna Bates, took to Twitter ahead of the visit, writing: 'Ooooo, we've got an exciting day ahead on the Downton set, a very special visitor is popping in.....

In the hair and make-up department she met housekeeper Mrs Hughes, played by Phyllis Logan, as she was made up by artist Nic Collins, 44. She also met Robert James Collier, who plays under butler Thomas. He joked:

'You've come just at the right time, Phyllis is about to have her Botox put in.'

Unfortunately, the Duchess missed out on meeting Dame Maggie Smith who plays the Dowager Duchess of Grantham who had to cry off due to illness.
Instead, Kate, who has less than six weeks to go before the birth of her second child, was greeted outside Ealing Studios by the drama's clearly delighted creator Julian Fellowes.

Lord Fellowes is no stranger to royalty thanks to his wife, Lady Emma Kitchener, who is, co-incidentally, a lady-in-waiting to Princess Michael of Kent, who is a neighbour of Kate's at Kensington Palace.

Welcome to Downton: Kate chats to Hugh Bonneville, Penelope Wilton and Laura Carmichael during her visit to the set

Enjoying herself: The Duchess looked thrilled during a tour of Downton Abbey's extremely busy costume department

Backstage: The Duchess enjoys a chat with actress Phyllis Logan (Mrs Hughes) and make-up artist Nic Collins

Enjoying the visit: The Duchess laughs with Ms Logan and Ms Turner during her visit to the Downton Abbey make-up room

Big unveiling: The Duchess of Cambridge unveiled a plaque to mark her visit before she left

Battle of the blue-bloods: The Duchess of Cambridge smiles for a photo with Michelle Dockery, the actress who plays Lady Mary

Present for George: Oliver Barker, one of the twins who play Master George, presented the Duchess with a wooden train for Prince George

Not smiling! Oliver Barker decided he wasn't in a smiley mood as he posed with the Duchess of Cambridge and Michelle Dockery

Thank you! Zac Barker, four, was on hand to present the Duchess with a pretty bunch of flowers as she stepped out of the car

Spot the difference! Oliver Barker (left) shares the role of Master George (Lady Mary's son) with his twin brother Zac (right)

She was also shown the various sets and met the men behind the myriad props during the tour, which she enjoyed so much that she stayed for an extra half an hour.

Actress Lesley Nichol, who plays cook Mrs Patmore, told Mail Online after the visit:

‘I think the Duchess really enjoyed herself. We knew before she came that she was a fan of the show and she clearly knew a lot about what we did.
‘She was asking us how our lives have changed since the show and I told her ‘immensely’. Although, to be honest, I was talking so much she didn’t have much of a chance to get a word in edgeways.
‘I got the impression that she thoroughly enjoyed herself, but I really hope she has just gone home for a cup of tea and put her feet up. It was a long time for her to be walking around on the set with that bump.
'I would have offered the Duchess a cup of tea myself but I couldn’t have guaranteed what was in it.'

Sharing a joke: The Duchess laughed and chatted with Downton creator Lord Julian Fellowes, whose wife is a lady-in-waiting

Downton is, of course, no stranger to royal visits having previously hosted the Countess of Wessex last week and, in 2011, royal in-laws Carole, Michael and Pippa Middleton.

The drama also boasts several royal fans, among them the Duchess of Cornwall who confessed to being a 'Downton addict' when she met cast member Lesley Nichol (Mrs Patmore) last year.
Prince Charles isn't thought to be quite so keen on the show, however, with Ms Nicol going on to reveal that the Prince, who was also at the event, developed a 'slightly glazed look in his eyes' when the drama was mentioned.

Making an entrance: The Duchess of Cambridge climbs out of her official car, watched by a group of excited well-wishers

Not a fan: Prince Charles is not thought to be a fan of Downton Abbey but that didn't stop him from enjoying a chat with Elizabeth McGovern

Friendly: Ms McGovern plays Cora, Countess of Grantham in the long-running series and met the Prince at a reception on Monday night

Royal approval: Ms McGovern (left) was also on set for last week's visit from the Countess of Wessex and Mexico's Angélica Rivera

Kate at Downton Abbey

Duchess Kate Fits in Well on the Set of Downton Abbey!

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