Isn’t it time Downton Abbey had a happily ever after?

When it comes to matters of the heart, the Crawleys and their staff are one unlucky bunch, says Ellie Walker-Arnott


Downton Abbey is teeming with flirtations, stolen glances and potential love interests. But you really wouldn’t want to swap places with any of them.


Working class or aristocracy, when it comes to matters of the heart, the Crawleys and their staff are one unlucky bunch.

While Lord Merton patiently awaits Isobel’s response to his marriage proposal, this Sunday’s episode saw Lady Rose meet a rather dashing young chap called Atticus. After a history of dancing with married men, kissing farm hands and falling for inappropriate jazz musicians, I’ve got my fingers crossed that happiness lies on the horizon for Rose. But if history’s any indicator, she doesn’t have much hope…

Lady Sybil found “the one” – and crossed class boundaries and disappointed her family to be with him, only to end up dying in childbirth mere months later. And her widow Branson’s hope of a romantic future hopped in a cab and left Downton Abbey this week, presumably for good.

Lady Mary (momentarily) fell for a man who promptly croaked, before getting engaged to a media mogul who ended up blackmailing her. THEN she married the love of her life, before having a baby and losing her husband on the very same day.

Lady Edith was jilted at the altar before she found her man – who then got her pregnant before disappearing in Germany, presumed dead.

We’re yet to witness a happy marriage among the Crawley’s friends and acquaintances. Shrimpie’s getting a divorce while Robert and Cora have rather large art historian-shaped problems of their own.

And downstairs it’s not much better.

Series four followed Daisy, Ivy, Alfred and Jimmy’s love quadrangle, which ended in none of them getting what they wanted. Mrs Hughes and Mr Carson, Moseley and Baxter might have potential, but hand holding is as forward as any of them have got.

And Anna and Bates, Downton’s lower class love story, have defeated Bates’ evil ex-wife and overturned a murder conviction to be together, only for Anna to be raped and the pair to be caught up in the police investigation.

It’s exhausting. And if you ask me, it’s high time just one girl met a boy, fell in love and lived happily ever after.

I know it’s not how it happens in real life but there’s realism and then there’s just perpetual misery. And a happy love story is one of the joys of drama, especially comforting, cosy like an old jumper, Sunday night period drama. 

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for Isobel and Lady Rose.

If people can’t find a happily ever after in TV land then where can they? 


Downton Abbey continues on Sunday at 9:00pm on ITV