|Lady Rose is presented at Buckingham Palace!|
|Shirley MacLaine returns as Martha Levinson and James Fox plays Lord Aysgarth.|
|Paul Giamatti debuts as Cora's brother Harold Levinson and Poppy Draton as Madeleine.|
|Paul Giamatti already owning it like a boss.|
|Photo Credit: ITV, Carnival Films, Nick Briggs|
The family and servants travel up to London for the summer season. I'm glad the family and servants are staying together this time and not splitting up! The Crawley's impressive London residence, Grantham House, is seen for the first time.
The episode features a series of society parties and balls. Lady Rose (Lily James) is introduced to society and presented at Buckingham Palace to King George V (played by Guy Williams), who is the grandfather to reigning Queen Elizabeth II. Also appearing are Queen Mary and The Prince of Wales, Edward VIII (played by Oliver Dimsdale). Although set at Buckingham Palace, the filming actually took place Lancaster House in London.
It wouldn't be Downton without some drama and when the Crawleys find themselves implicated in a scandal which threatens to engulf the monarchy, the Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) goes to great lengths to protect both the Royal Family and his own.
Lady Edith is still struggling with the decision whether to give up her baby or not, Lady Mary still has her suitors and both Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden) and Lord Anthony Gillingham (Tom Cullen) make an appearance in the Christmas Special. We will also be seeing more of Tom Branson's new "friend" Sarah Bunting (Daisy Lewis). Even Isobel Crawley will have an "admirer" in this episode.
Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine) and Cora's brother Harold (Paul Giamatti) make an appearance along with several guest characters including Harold Levinson's valet, Ethan, (Michael Benz), Lord Aysgarth (James Fox) and his daughter Madeleine (Poppy Drayton), Freda Dudley Ward (Janet Montgemory). Card shark Sampson (Patrick Kennedy) makes a re-appearance and so does the new pig man Tim Drewe (Andrew Scarborough). The shows historical adviser Alastair Bruce, makes a cameo as Lord Chamberlain.
Below the stairs Carson treats the staff to a special day off, Daisy gets an unexpected invitation and Mr Bates possible crime is still a mystery.