Their’s was the will-they-won’t-they romance that drove the drama from the very start of season one. When Matthew and Mary finally got married, it was a dream come true. But it didn’t last long, with the Abbey’s heir being killed in a car crash. Mary’s life was left in tatters, while we cried and chocked on our turkey dinners, our collective Christmases ruined.
The last few seasons have been tough for dedicated fans of Mary’s romance with Matthew Crawley, as she hunted for husband number two. But, as the drama prepares to say its final farewell during this year’s festive special, it gave a nod to the late and terribly lovely Matthew.
Ready to say ‘I do’ to racing car driver Henry Talbot, Mary wandered down to Downton’s village graveyard to visit her first husband in his final resting place…
“I don’t have to tell you why I’m here, either you know everything or you’re not hearing me now. The truth is I love him. I believe we are right together. But I so very much want to feel that you’re happy for me, as I’d be happy for you, my darling,” said Mary, her voice breaking.
“Remember, however much I love him, I will always love you,” she added, before kissing her hand and touching it to his gravestone.
Of course, Matthew gave no reply – Downton might verge on unrealistic but it’s yet to venture into the supernatural – but his mother Isobel, who was walking past, did.
“I came to ask for his forgiveness, if that doesn’t sound too silly,” Mary admits.
“I see,” replies Isobel. “I think that means you want to marry again. Well, I don’t know if you have his forgiveness, but you don’t need to ask for mine. I’m delighted.”
The final episode of Downton Abbey series six then saw Mary walk down the aisle and marry Henry Talbot, after a tumultuous courtship.
Downton Abbey concludes with a Christmas special later this year