Downton Abbey – Season 4 Christmas Special – Plot Details
ITV revealed that although it’ll be Christmas Day in the present, it won’t be Christmas for the Crawleys: the episode takes place during the summer, as the Crawleys journey to London for Lady Rose’s (Lily James) coming out, which marks her official entry into London’s high society. In the special, viewers will see the Crawleys’ London residence, Grantham House, for the first time, among other noteworthy firsts: such as the first appearance of a member of Britain’s royal family.
In addition to guest stars Shirley MacLaine and Paul Giamatti as Cora’s mother and brother, respectively, the episode will also feature Guy Williams as King George V (the grandfather to reigning Queen Elizabeth II) and Oliver Dimsdale as the Prince of Wales (Edward VIII, Queen Elizabeth’s uncle). James Fox will also guest star as Lord Aysgarth in a story that will center on a scandal that threatens to plunge the British monarchy into turmoil, prompting Robert (Hugh Bonneville) to act to protect both the royal family and the Crawleys themselves.
The Downton Abbey 2013 Christmas special will air Wednesday, Dec. 25 in the U.K. on ITV.