Downton Abbey: What’s going to happen in the Christmas special?

Resident Downton Abbey superfan Ellie Walker-Arnott predicts what's in store for Robert, Cora and co this Christmas...


Can you bear the anticipation Downton fans?


With just two and a half weeks to go, we’ve been treated to some more pictures of the drama set to unfold on Christmas Day. 

We’ve got royal balls, potential romance and a trip to the beach. But what else do these images reveal? I’ve put my thinking cap on…

Might Mary have chosen her man? She is snuggled up nice and close to dishy Gillingham but her vacant expression reveals a lot. The eldest Crawley sister is clearly fantasising about that muddy night in the pig pen with Charles Blake… 

Aha. And here’s the man himself “accidentally” bumping into Mary on the street. It’s like a scene in Made in Chelsea. Awkward. Perhaps Mary will reconsider her options and “choose” both of them. It’ll keep them both happy. And it’s always good to try before you buy, if you know what I mean… 

The disgraced one returns. But the question is, does she come alone? Might Jimmy be about to pull a pram out of the boot? Or could Edith still be with child? That’s the problem with these shapeless twenties frocks – she could be hiding a petite baby bump under there and we just wouldn’t know.

One thing we can be sure of though is that she’s not a happy lady. Perhaps that red car is parked in her space. Or it could be, you know, the fact that her lover’s missing and she’s had to give her baby away. Yeah… it’s probably that actually. 

And here we have… the beach. Yep. I can totally see what Fellowes was thinking there. It’s an obvious festive filming location, right? Just what we want to see when we are pasty, bloated and down to the dregs of our festive Baileys. 

Anyway, it’s nice to see Anna and Bates smiling again. They certainly don’t look like a couple who have recently killed a wayward valet. But appearances can be deceptive… 

The beach not your cup of tea, Thomas? Hair a bit haywire on account of all the humidity? I feel your pain, brother.

What’s this? Is it just me or does this look like the first flicker of romance between Carson and Mrs Hughes? 

Maybe I’m mistaken. Perhaps they are just giggling at the absurdly dressed beach-goers behind them. Just because you’re at the seaside doesn’t mean you have to lose all sense of decorum, get your knees out and look a fool. A waistcoat, tie and pocket watch is still perfectly appropriate, all you have to do is roll your hems up and you’re good to go. 

Lady Rose isn’t one to wait in the wings is she? One minute she’s making her royal debut, the next she’s squeezing the Prince of Wales’ shoulder muscles. She’s a fickle one. Last time we saw her she was determined to spend her days as the poor and persecuted wife of a black musician, now you can almost see her planning a royal wedding. You know, regal table centre pieces, a jazz band for the first dance… 

Now the Prince is a polite kinda chap, if a pretty girl strokes his bicep, he’s going to send a follow up note. Maybe he’s inviting her to take tea on his rather extensive lawns. Or – a little racier – asking her to meet him round the back of the Palace for a cheeky snog. Having said that, it could just be a thank you note. Lady Rose is terribly modern and all, but this is still the 1920s you know.

It’s not the just young ones who are getting a bit of action this Christmas. Looks like Isobel’s got herself a gentleman caller, whether she wants one or not. He looks like a determined sort of chap. Not one you could knock back easily I wouldn’t have thought. My money’s still on Isobel and Dr Clarkson though. Maybe with this fellow on the scene the Doc will get his act together and seal the deal, so to speak. 

What’s Mrs Hughes spying at? Perhaps she’s looking through Carson’s pockets to find out what he gets up to on those rare days off from the Abbey. 

Whatever it is, Baxter is sure to have found out. And that means Thomas will know too. You just can’t keep a secret in Downton, can you? 

Uh oh. Looks like your boys found out about each other, Mary. That’s right, keep cool and style it out…


Downton Abbey returns on Christmas Day at 8:30pm on ITV.