Downton Abbey: Romance is on the cards for the Dowager Countess

And Violet Crawley won't be the only one to find herself with a gentleman caller in series 5...


We are used to watching the Dowager Countess throw withering insults across the dinner table, spar with the Americans and offer wise words of wisdom to her grandchildren, but one thing we’ve not seen is the Crawley matriarch in love. 


That could all be about to change in series five, though, as the Dowager gets herself a gentleman caller…

“The Dowager has a romance that comes back into her life who we will see more of,” reveals Penelope Wilton, who plays Isobel Crawley in the hit ITV period drama.

Exciting news for Violet. And us – we can only imagine the dramas and wonderfully witty one-liners this potential romance will inspire. 

But the Dowager will be far from the only member of the family to find a little love this series. Isobel also has romance on the cards.

“There’s a bit of romance coming up for Isobel and not everyone’s that keen,” Wilton revealed to at the launch of series 5. “I’d like to say people are envious and so that is a very interesting storyline, but there’s also a lot more going on as well.” 

According to the star, series five in general will see “lot of lighter times” for Violet and Isobel, who were mourning the death of Matthew at the start of series four.

Not that the happier mood will spell an end to their disagreements. 

“The sparring is great to do,” says Wilton. “It’s great because Julian writes very wittily for us both which is lovely and the relationship has grown as they’ve become more dependant on one another… they basically are extremely fond of one another and actually they need each other too.” 

Off camera, the pair get on just as well. “She’s a lovely person and wonderful to work with,” says Wilton.

In fact, their only complaint about life on set is to do with the cake…

“The only thing we don’t like – Maggie and I – is we seem to get the same bit of fruitcake every time we have tea together. We asked for a change the other day and they said, ‘Well, this is what you would have had at the time…'”


Downton Abbey returns to ITV on Sunday 21st September at 9:00pm