"[Kate Middleton] met everyone from the drivers to the caterers and the actors; she was wonderful," said Michelle Dockery
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.”
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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.