Belfast Telegraph

Dockery: Lady Mary won't struggle

Michelle Dockery has admitted she was pleased when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gave their son the same name as her baby in Downton Abbey.

The actress plays Lady Mary Crawley, who called her first-born child George on screen just months before William and Kate did the same in real life. And having heard that the royal couple are big fans of the hit ITV show, Michelle revealed she was pleased as punch.

"It was quite amazing that day, when the royals named their baby George," she laughed.

"They're fans of the show, apparently, so who knows!"

Michelle revealed that in the upcoming fourth series of the drama, fans will see Lady Mary struggling to bond with her baby, following husband Matthew's death in a car crash.

"She is quite detached," said the actress. "She finds it difficult to bond with the baby at first, because he reminds her of Matthew, but I don't think Mary was ever going to be a cooey mother. I think she'll be a good parent, but she won't be an incredibly maternal one."

But Michelle, 31, said Mary is still in a far more privileged position than her peers.

"Because of the position she's in within the aristocracy, she wouldn't have spent that much time with her children. You have a nanny and governess to take care of everything, so she's not exactly a struggling single mother," she said.

The new series will see some new potential suitors for Lady Mary. They will include an old chum - Lord Gillingham - played by Tom Cullen, jazz singer Jack Ross from Chicago, played by Gary Carr, and the belligerent Charles Blake, played by Julian Ovenden.

"Mary's coming out of her grief slowly and, of course, there are new suitors invited to the house," said Michelle. "Inevitably, she needs to move on at some point, because of her position, and because she now has the heir to Downton."

:: Downton Abbey returns to ITV on Sunday, September 22.

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