Belfast Telegraph

Penelope Wilton is a first-time grandmother

The Downton Abbey star is grateful for her professional and personal successes.

Actress Penelope Wilton has become a first-time grandmother

The Downton Abbey star's daughter, Alice Massey, gave birth to a daughter, named Ella Rose, earlier this month (Jun16), just weeks after Penelope learned she would be named a dame in Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honours List.

"It was rather surreal," she told U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America on Thursday (23Jun16).

"Why would you go around thinking you're ever going to made a dame, but I heard about six weeks ago. And then you're given a note saying, 'This is completely confidential', and so that's all you hear and then of course you don't hear anything for six weeks and I thought I dreamt it really."

In a weird coincidence, Penelope is portraying the Queen in Steven Spielberg's new film The BFG, and she hopes Elizabeth is a fan, adding, "I hope she likes it otherwise she might be saying, 'I'm having second thoughts about the damehood'!"

Joking aside, the new dame, 70, admits she still can't believe she landed an opportunity to work with Spielberg.

"I was going to be starting Downton Abbey and my agent ran to me and said, 'Steven Spielberg would like you to be in his film'," she smiled. "I said, 'You know, that's sort of a joker term'. People say, 'I can't come out shopping, I just got a call from Steven Spielberg. I'm going to be in his film'. So I said, 'Stop it...'

"I'm really lucky at the moment."

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