Michelle Dockery Recalls Filming a Downton Abbey Scene — with Kate Middleton Watching!
The British actress recalled the “really special day” in 2015 when Kate — who was pregnant with Princess Charlotte at the time! — visited the set of Downton Abbey during a tour of the Ealing Studios in London.
“That was quite something and a really special day for us,” Dockery told OK! magazine, adding that the Duchess of Cambridge was behind the scenes as cameras rolled. “She watched the filming of a scene between me and Joanne Froggatt, who plays Anna, which was nerve-wracking.”
But despite her royal status, Kate was down to earth and humble during her visit to the hit TV show, which is picking up its story with a new movie hitting theaters on Sept 20.
“She met everyone from the drivers to the caterers and the actors; she was wonderful,” said Dockery.
Dockery, who plays Lady Mary, added, “I’ve never been to Buckingham Palace, but I am as excited as the next person about anything that the royal family do. I was hooked by the royal wedding, of course.”
During her two-hour visit (an hour longer than expected!) to the set, Kate even sat for a photo with the cast — featuring an amusing mix of contemporary and period clothes due to who was filming.
“It was a surreal and exciting experience to be at work and be visited by a member of the royal family,” Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith, told PEOPLE at the time. “She has watched the show and loves it, and that’s really lovely.”
As for the royal’s favorite character on the show, Carmichael shared, “Brendan [Coyle, who plays John Bates] and Hugh [Bonneville] were fighting over who was her favorite character. But she didn’t reveal.”
The trailer for the film debuted in May and picks up a couple of years after the show signed off, with the estate showing off how much more modern it is in 1927.
The family is thrown into a dilemma when they realize they’re going to need much more help when the King and Queen announce they’re making a visit to the estate and nearby town.
The acclaimed PBS “Masterpiece” show ended its run in 2015, while production on the film began summer 2018.