Sigrid Bernhoerster Staff Writer
Ignore the latest Downton Abbey rumours: Michelle Dockery says that a romance between her character (Lady Mary) and that of Allen Leech (Branson) is “unlikely,” reports Access Hollywood.
Okay, so technically, she doesn’t know yet, but we’ve met Lady Mary. She’s not really the type of person to seriously consider someone outside of her class; that was Sybil’s cache (played by Jessica Brown-Findlay).
What the former chauffeur Branson (note that he and the rest of the staff are rarely referred to by their first name by a Crawley? Yup, that’s class distinction) and Lady Mary have in common is that they are both ‘recently’ widowed, coincidentally on the birth dates of their respective children.
Branson loses Sybil in episode 5 of season 3 (July 1920 in the Downton Abbey timeline) and Lady Mary loses her Matthew in the un-Christmassy Christmas Special (September 1921). As brother and sister-in-law, they are family.
Branson has stayed on at Downton as the estate manager (well, he couldn’t go back to being the chauffeur, could he?) and as far as the estate is concerned, it looks as though Mary will be taking over where Matthew left off ‘hand-in-hand’ with Branson, as it were, but not in a romantic way.
However, romance speculation does surround new character Lord Gillingham, played by Tom Cullen, who Dockery describes as, “an old family friend,” and someone Mary has, “known since the girls were children and they haven’t seen him since she was tiny.”
Oh, and before you get too concerned about the ‘old family friend’ bit, Welsh actor Cullen (Wulfric in World Without End) is 28 years of age, so we’re not going to see a repeat of Lady Edith (played by Laura Carmichael) and Sir Anthony Strallan (Robert Bathurst).
The first episode of Downton Abbey’s fourth season will take viewers to 1922 and that’s about all we know at this point. Well that and that ITV will likely start airing the new episodes in September of 2013 with North American viewers counting the days until PBS airs them in early 2014. The sooner the better, I say.
What are your thoughts on potential romances in season four of Downton Abbey?