Ever since its start in 2010, I have been absolutely wrapped up and consumed with love for Downton Abbey. As somebody who comes from a world so different to that of Downton, I very quickly became obsessed with it. Over the years I have ridden the emotional rollercoaster Julian Fellowes released. I’ve cried with laughter, I’ve beamed with happiness, I’ve squealed with delight but I’ve equally sobbed my heart out, felt consumed with anger and had my heart broken – all the ingredients for my perfect television show.
On Christmas Day, I settled down to watch the 2 hour Christmas special and final ever episode of my favourite show. I previously tried to convince myself that I would keep my emotions intact, I would not cry but simply enjoy every second of the special episode. You can probably imagine from what I’ve already said above that I did not succeed with this but MY GOD was this episode everything I could have dreamed of. I cried until I could cry no more and I’m proud to say it.
Two weddings, a new born baby, a fixed relationship between sisters, a pregnancy announcement, a new business, a new relationship, more sass from Violet and plenty of reasons to smile and happy endings, all topped off with Mrs Hughes starting an emotional rendition of Auld Lang Syne to wrap up the episode.
I’m so glad that Lady Edith finally got the happy ending that she so deserved. I was even happier to see that Lady Mary was the key person in helping Edith get her blossoming romance with Bertie Pelham back on track, resulting in Edith and Mary deciding on a fresh start to their relationship.
Since the beginning, I have always loved Lady Mary. Many people argue that she is a horrid person but I’ve always admired her for her flaws and imperfections, some of which I see in myself. I loved Mary’s key role in the Downton finale. She was key in bringing Edith and Bertie back together and setting their marriage in stone, she was also the person who was there with Anna, and remained with Anna, throughout the birth of her first child. I felt that this was such a poignant part of the episode. In Series 6, we followed Anna and Bates’ story as they struggled to conceive a child and we saw Anna turn to Mary for help. The friendship between Anna and Mary is one of my favourite things about the show. They went beyond the boundaries of maid and Lady in order to forge a true and solid friendship. I think it was perfect that Anna should give birth to her first child in Mary’s room with her friend and husband present. This was the real highlight of the episode for me and was a real tear-jerking moment. Not to mention Mary’s reveal to her own husband that she has fallen pregnant.
Another highlight was Carson and Mrs Hughes. For years I have wanted them to admit their feelings to each other, so when they married in Series 6 I was beside myself with happiness and tears of joy! In this final episode, we saw Carson struggling to come to terms with his poor health and the inevitable end of his career as butler at Downton Abbey. Throughout the episode we saw Mrs Hughes’ building concern for her husband but by the end of the episode we were all left reassured for their future at Downton with a solution proposed by Carson’s biggest fan Lady Mary and her father Lord Grantham.
The return of Lady Rose (Lily James) brought a smile to my face with her light-heartedness and happy soul. Even Isobel got her happy ending after admitting her emotional attachment to Lord Merton, leading to their marriage. Violet Crawley, portrayed by the magnificent Dame Maggie Smith, stole the show with more of her wit and sarcastic one liners. All in all, this was the perfect ending to such a wonderful and successful show.
Now to dig out my Series 1 boxset and start the ride again!