The Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
Robert to his wife, and lord and master to just about everyone else, the Earl is, as far as Edwardian aristos go, a good egg.
The Earl’s main concern, however, is to ensure the vast Downton estate and the elevated position of the Crawleys remain intact - for ever.
Unfortunately, next in line to inherit is third cousin, trainee solicitor Matthew Crawley. The inhabitants of Downton don’t believe in working for a living, so it’s all very troubling for the Earl, who’s not sure if Matthew can cut it as a member of the idle rich.