“Wh-what is a weekend?” named best Downton Abbey quote of all time

The Dowager Countess dominates as RadioTimes.com readers vote for their favourite ever Downton Abbey quote

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When one thinks of Downton Abbey, one’s mind very quickly turns to the brilliant, bold and unforgettable Dowager Countess. So it’s no surprise our list of Downton’s top 10 quotes is dominated by her witty words and wise advice. 

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As the hit ITV period drama prepares to say its final farewells this Christmas Day, we asked fans to look back at six seasons of brilliant quotes and rank their favourites. 

Over 3,000 of you voted for the best out of our hand-picked shortlist of 25 popular one-liners. And Violet Crawley undoubtedly came out on top. 

Her now iconic season one exclamation “Wh-what is a weekend?” won, with 19% of the votes. 

While “Don’t be defeatist dear, it’s very middle class,” “No Englishman would dream of dying on someone else’s house,” and “No guest should be admitted without the date of their departure settled” swiftly followed. 

A few of the other characters did get a word in. Lady Mary’s “I’m going upstairs to take off my hat” managed to make it to fifth place, while Carson’s philosophical mutterings and Matthew Crawley’s sweet nothings also snuck their way into the top 10. 

Here’s the full list: 

1. “Wh-what is a weekend?” – Dowager Countess 19%

2.  “Don’t be defeatist dear, it’s very middle class” – Dowager Countess 11%

3. “No Englishman would dream of dying on someone else’s house” – Dowager Countess 10%

4. “No guest should be admitted without the date of their departure settled” – Dowager Countess 8%

5. “I’m going upstairs to take off my hat” – Lady Mary 8%

6. “I’m a woman. I can be as contrary as I choose” – Dowager Countess 7%

7. “Vulgarity is no substitute for wit” – Dowager Countess 6%

8. “A lack of compassion can be as vulgar as an excess of tears” – Dowager Countess 5%

9. “The business of life is the acquisition of memories. In the end, that is all there is” – Mr Carson 4%

10. “You’ve lives your life, and I’ve lived mine. Now it’s time we live them together” – Matthew Crawley 3%

Over 3,000 RadioTimes.com readers voted in this poll. 

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Downton Abbey: the Finale is on Christmas Day at 8:45pm on ITV