She may be used to dining at Downton as the “Dowager Countess of Grantham” but Dame Maggie Smith will be in the company of Her Majesty The Queen and Prince Philip on Monday evening as she dines with them at Windsor Castle. Maggie Smith is among 20 other guests who have been invited by The Queen and Prince Philip to Windsor Castle during Easter Court.
Dame Maggie Smith has been invited to The Queen’s Berkshire residence for a special ‘dine and sleep’ event, where as well as a magnificent dinner, guests are also given a bed for the night.
Easter Court happens every year and is when The Queen takes up residence at Windsor Castle for a month between March and April. During this time Her Majesty hosts events such as ‘dine and sleep’ as well as holding investitures at the historic fortress.
Although a relatively small soiree, there will be around 20 guests dining with The Queen on Monday evening including The Duke of York, Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney and his wife Diana, US Ambassador Matthew W
Barzun as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury and his wife Caroline. Previous ‘dine and sleep’ events have seen the likes of Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Burton, Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz attend.
Dame Maggie Smith is an English actress whose distinguished career has seen her perform alongside the likes of Laurence Olivier, Richard Harris and Whoopi Goldberg. Perhaps two of her most famous roles have come in recent years when she portrayed Deputy Headmistress, Minerva McGonagall, in the Harry Potter series of films and the Dowager Countess of Grantham in ITV’s hit period drama, Downton Abbey.
In 1990 Maggie Smith was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and in the 2014 Queen’s birthday honours, she was made a Companion of the Order of the Companions of Honour for her services to drama.
Dame Maggie Smith was at Windsor Castle in October for an Investiture Ceremony where she was honoured with the Insignia of a Companion of Honour.
So as Maggie Smith shares a dinner table with The Queen and Prince Philip, it appears that Royalty and Downton Abbey go hand in hand together. Only recently did The Duchess of Cambridge visit the set of the hit television drama at their base at Ealing Studios where she met with the cast as well as show creator, Julian Fellowes. Unfortunately the Duchess didn’t get the chance to meet the Countess, Dame Maggie was sadly ill on that day, though we can be sure that it wont be long before the Grantham’s are mixing with royalty once again!