Downton Abbey: A New Era Star Recalls The Time She Made A Racy Lady Mary Comment In Front Of The Duchess Of Cambridge

Raquel Cassidy, Sophie McShera, and Joanne Froggatt standing outside smiling in front of a supply truck in Downton Abbey: A New Era.
(Image credit: Focus Features)

Celebrities are fans too, so it’s easy for the people who make pop culture so famous to have moments with rather impressive admirers. Sometimes they’re cute interactions, but in other cases, the results are a little bit bawdy. In the case of Downton Abbey: A New Era star Joanne Froggatt, she recalled a royal encounter where she made a racy Lady Mary comment in front of the Duchess of Cambridge, which lead to a pretty fantastic result. 

In preparation for the big sequel headed to theaters next March, Ms. Froggatt spoke with The Guardian about her career and various memories and lessons she’s taken from her experiences. On top of outing Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones as loyal Downton viewers, she recalled a story of a set visit by the Duchess prompting some quick wit and an unintentional quip. Here’s how it all went down: 

I embarrassed myself in front of the Duchess of Cambridge. She visited the Downton set and walked in while me and Michelle Dockery were filming a scene in Lady Mary’s bedroom. She said: ‘It feels very strange to be in your bedroom.’ I replied: ‘Yeah, not many people get to come in Lady Mary’s bedroom.’ I didn’t mean it as a double entendre, but I swear I saw the faintest flicker of a smile.

There are so many levels that this Downton Abbey story works on, especially coming from the actor who’s known by the fandom as the strong-willed and lovable Anna Bates. The most effective is, naturally, that this is an unintended double entendre that links back to Lady Mary’s love life throughout the six seasons of ITV’s hit drama, and the major motion picture that followed. Then again, through the lens of fandom, Kate Middleton and Joanne Froggatt’s moment of humorous connection is even stronger. 

We eventually know that Michelle Dockery’s Lady Mary eventually finds herself married to Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode), and it’s pretty much a happy ending. That bliss was only after some heartbreak and scandal visited Mary’s life, and a good part of that trauma does connect to the bedroom. Not only did the surprise death of Mr. Pamuk in Season 1 occur after their clandestine meeting in her chambers had concluded, but her romantic relationships throughout Julian Fellowes’ beloved series have met sometimes tragic and bitter ends.

Part of the wedding photo from Tom and Lucy's wedding in Downton Abbey: A New Era

(Image credit: Focus Features/Carnival)

There’s even a question about whether or not Lady Mary’s current marriage is going to survive Downton Abbey: A New Era, which just lends further credence to the claim that her character may be a bit of a tough customer. It’s all speculation at this point, but seeing as a random chat between Joanne Froggatt and the Duchess of Cambridge yielded such a story, it seems that we’re all thinking it at this point. Or maybe the Duchess just loves a good, surprising moment of ribald humor, and the fandom angle is more on our end. Either way, if humor doesn’t make you ask the big questions, is it really all that funny to begin with?

You can return to the grounds of the Downton estate, and beyond, when Downton Abbey: A New Era debuts in theaters on March 18, 2022. That’s not all that’s waiting on the horizon, as you’ll see in the 2022 release schedule’s full picture of the year to come. Dare we say that in its current form, it’s so robust that it could make even Lady Mary blush on her most gloomy of days.

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.