It seems like a scene straight from the hit TV show: royalty visiting the Crawley family. But this was real life as Kate Middleton visited the set of Downton Abbey on Thursday to meet members of the cast in celebrating their success.
The 8-month pregnant royal arrived at Ealing Studios dressed in a $103 "Cream Princess Line Maternity Coat" by JoJo Maman Bebe and was greeted by the show's writer and creator Lord Julian Fellowes , Robert James Collier, who plays butler Thomas, Phyllis Logan , who stars as housekeeper Mrs. Hughes, and 4-year-old twin brothers Oliver and Zac Barker, who alternatively play Lady Mary's son George.
Little Zac even gave Kate a wooden train for her tot. "George hands The Duchess a wooden train for Prince George #DuchessAtDownton @EalingStudios," Kensington Palace wrote on Twitter, next to the photo of the pregnant royal kneeling down to accept the present, while Zac's on-screen mother Michelle Dockery watched.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) March 12, 2015
In one of her final engagements before going on maternity leave, the Duchess toured the set and was seen peeking into one of the make-up trailers. Executive producer Liz Trubridge showed Prince William's wife the different parts of the production process and took her to meet costume designers, seamstresses and scenery and prop departments.
Kate was able to see a scene being filmed in the servants' quarters for the upcoming sixth season of the show. She then went to watch a second take of the scene on a monitor. Sadly, Dame Maggie Smith, who plays Dowager Countess Violet Crawley, was unable to attend due to illness.
This visit is especially exciting for the mother-to-be as she is personally a huge fan. During the royal couple's tour of New York in December, Prince William revealed that he and his wife are among the millions of viewers who follow the trials and tribulations of the Crawley family. The Duke told executive producer Gareth Neame that he was "really looking forward" to the Christmas special.
— BritishMonarchy (@BritishMonarchy) March 4, 2015
And things are really stirring up in the Downton household because this was the second time in a week royalty has visited the set. The Countess of Wessex took former soap actress and Mexico's First Lady Angelica Rivera to the studios.