Michelle Dockery revealed what it was like when the Duchess of Cambridge visited the set of Downton Abbey in 2015 during a promotional appearance for the Downton film.
On Tuesday’s episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Dockery revealed that she felt like it was a moment that mimicked court performers centuries in the past.
“I sort of felt like it’s probably what it felt like for a court jester back in the day, performing for the royals, so we were quite nervous,” Dockery told Fallon.
“She was so charming, gracious and beautiful, she was mesmerising, and it was such a special day for everyone.”
The Duchess appeared on set just as Dockery was rehearsing a scene with Joanne Froggatt, who played her maid, Anna Bates. “At that moment, she came on set, and she was our audience.”
In a separate interview with OK! Magazine, Dockery further revealed that when Kate visited the set, she met everyone “from the drivers to the caterers and the actors; she was wonderful.” She also unveiled a plaque commemorating her visit.
Dockery continued, “I’ve never been to Buckingham Palace, but I am as excited as the next person about anything that the Royal Family do. I was hooked by the royal wedding, of course.”
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are known to have been big fans of Downton Abbey when it was on television. Kate revealed at an event in Los Angeles in 2011 that she was excited to see the second series; something that Downton creator Julian Fellowes credited during her 2015 set visit for helping the show take off in America.
Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith, said to People at the time of the royal’s visit that some of the actors were trying to get her to reveal her favourite character, with the actors who play Lord Grantham and Mr Bates arguing over who it was, though she wouldn’t say.
Lesley Nichol, who plays Mrs Patmore, said to reporters after Kate’s visit that, “We knew before she came that she was a fan of the show and she clearly knew a lot about what we did.”
The Duchess of Cambridge was heavily pregnant with Princess Charlotte at the time, and Nichols said that she hoped Kate went home and had a cup of tea and put her feet up to relax. “I would have offered the Duchess a cup of tea myself, but I couldn’t have guaranteed what was in it.”