Downton Abbey went out in style as the series had its final show on Christmas Day, and they said goodbye on their Twitter page.
— Downton Abbey (@DowntonAbbey) December 25, 2015
For fans that haven’t yet seen it, be warned of spoiler alerts.
The Irish Times reports that the series finale was watched by 6.6 million viewers, which came close to the Queen’s Christmas broadcast of 7.2 million.
There were no tragic deaths in the final episode. Instead, all was joyous and happy, with Lady Edith happily ending up with Bertie Pelham, Mr. Bates and Anna having their baby, and Lady Mary discovering she is pregnant.
— Manor of Speaking (@manorspeak) August 5, 2015
See the trailer here.
According to ITV, it was the first time Downton Abbey had stolen the Christmas ratings.
“This is the first time a Downton Christmas special has topped the ratings in the UK on Christmas Day.”
There have been rumors that Downton Abbey did not go on for a seventh season because they couldn’t get Maggie Smith, who plays Lady Violet Crawley, to agree to it. Although the heads of the show have denied these rumors, the Sun previously reported that executive producer Gareth Neame said the show would struggle without Smith.
“We easily could have gone for a seventh season but if I’d have said ‘We haven’t got Maggie,’ it would have been a shadow of itself. We all feel very blessed. Nobody regrets ending when we did. We have a final season that’s as strong as the first because we quit while we were ahead.”
An official spokesperson for Carnival Films, which produces Downton Abbey, said the cast played no part in the decision to end the show.
“Downton Abbey ended at season six because the producers and writer wanted to close the show on a high and that has been clearly demonstrated with the Downton Abbey finale on ITV being the most-watched show on television across all broadcasters on Christmas night. The show did not end because any of our cast wanted to leave.”
Despite this, Maggie Smith seems to be happy she is now free of Downton Abbey. CBS Sunday Morning reports that the actress has not even watched a single episode of the television series she has starred in for six seasons. When asked if she had seen the show, her answer was surprisingly no.
“No. But they gave me the boxed set. And I’m going to do all sorts of things now, ’cause I’m free!”
— Vulture (@vulture) December 30, 2015
Smith was full of surprises. Apparently, she was often not even wearing a corset on Downton Abbey.
“In actual fact, I have to say that I did cheat a bit. Because I promised that if I sat up, bolt upright, I made it look as though I were wearing corsets.”
— Canoe (@Canoe) March 2, 2015
It certainly sounds like Smith is happy to be free of Downton Abbey, as fond of it as she was. But what about the rest of the cast? While they are likely happy about moving on to a different stage in their career, E! Online reports that there are some things they will miss about the beloved show. Elizabeth McGovern, who played Lady Cora, said she will miss her men.
“I’m going to miss most of all my butler and my chauffeur, I’ll be honest with you.”
Michelle Dockery, who played Lady Mary, had a different idea of what will be missed. One thing is the “gorgeous clothes,” but also the part itself.
“I’ll certainly miss the character. I’ve loved playing her and being a part of something so special.”
— BINGBING Cocktail (@BINGBING_CKTAIL) December 17, 2015
Downton Abbey certainly captured the hearts of many, and it will be sorely missed by its millions of fans. Happy New Year to the cast and crew of Downton Abbey as they move on to different projects.
[Photos by Dutourdumonde Photography/Shutterstock, John Phillips/Getty Images]