And as the fourth series begins filming, we’ve managed to find out some more hints of what’s to come.
It looks like Lady Mary will have a lot to deal with for starters. Not only will we see her cope with the death of her husband Matthew (played by Dan Stevens) while simultaneously becoming a mother, but a whole raft of eligible bachelors are set to make their way to Downton. Tom Cullen and Julian Ovenden have been cast as an old family friend, Lord Gillingham, and aristocratic beau Charles Blake respectively.
Shirley MacLaine will return to the show as Cora’s mother, Martha Levinson, as writer Julian Fellowes told us earlier this year.
She’ll be joined by two real-life Dames as opera star Kiri Te Kanawa is set to make an appearance as a house-guest and Dame Harriet Walter will play Lady Shackleton, an old sparring partner of the Dowager Countess. Plus, actress Joanna David will play the Duchess of Yeovil.
Meanwhile ex-EastEnder Nigel Harman will join life below stairs as a new valet, hoping to fill the void left by Mrs O’Brien (Siobhan Finneran), who has announced she is leaving the show.
To find out more about series four of Downton Abbey, click here: http://www.womansown.co.uk/?p=19440