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First look: Downton Abbey trailer greets the Royal Family


Maggie Smith's splendidly acerbic Dowager Countess meets her match in the first, luxuriantly appointed trailer for the Downton Abbey movie.

It turns out the only thing capable of humbling Downton's sharp-tongued emblem is the Royal Family itself – and they're en route to stay with the aristocratic Crawley family.

Picking up the thread of the hit ITV series in-between World Wars I and II, Downton Abbey examines how British society is changing. It also plays around with our expectations of the characters, as several small-screen favourites find their status threatened by the arrival of the Queen's snooty footman (The Thin Blue Line and The Thick Of It actor David Haig).

While the likes of Mrs Patmore (Lesley Nicol), Elsie Hughes (Phylis Logan), John Bates (Brendan Coyle) and Joseph Moseley (Kevin Doyle) prepare to square off against the Queen's invasive entourage, it falls to Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) to summon the return of former valet Carson (Jim Carter) to get things in order.

And as fans of the series would expect, things are more ordered yet no less fraught above stairs. Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and wife Countess Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) come face to face with the uptight Lady Bagshaw (Imelda Staunton).

Written by Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey is released on 13th September.