Hugh Bonneville on Princess Kate's Visit to Downton Abbey: 'We Were Told "No Tongues," and It Would Be Fine'
Even the Downton Abbey cast can't help but be starstruck at the sight of Princess Kate
It’s been 10 months, but the cast of Downton Abbey still can’t stop sharing details from Princess Kate’s visit to the show’s set last spring.
Hugh Bonneville, who plays Crawley family patriarch Robert, the Earl of Grantham, paid a visit to LIVE With Kelly and Michael Thursday. And while he was there, he couldn’t help but dish on the cast’s wide-eyed reactions to Princess Kate’s arrival.
The Downton cast, he said, had to be reminded that they shouldn’t let their jaws go slack when they laid eyes on the royal.
“Princess Kate was fine,” he said. “We were told ‘no tongues,’ and it would be fine.”
The royal, who was pregnant with her second child, Princess Charlotte, during the visit, met cast members, including Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary), Laura Carmichael (Lady Edith), Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore) and Sophie McShera (Daisy).
“The energy on set was amazing,” Dockery said during a visit to PEOPLE Now. “It was amazing. It was magic.”
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“It was a surreal and exciting experience to be at work and be visited by a member of the royal family,” Carmichael told PEOPLE. “She has watched the show and loves it and that’s really lovely.”
One cast member, however, was noticeably missing from the meeting: Allen Leech, who plays Irish radical chauffeur turned Crawley family son-in-law, Tom Branson.
At the end of the show’s fifth season, viewers said goodbye to Branson as he and his daughter Sybbie were about to set sail for a new life in Boston. While now Leech admits that he is, in fact, returning for the sixth season, producers felt it would have been too much of a spoiler for fans to see him on set so soon before the premiere.
During a visit to PEOPLE Now, Leech said that he’d be happy to pay a visit to Buckingham Palace to make up for the missed meeting.
Just remember, Allen: No tongues!