The real story behind ‘Downton Abbey’: a tour of the events that accompany the masterful series

‘Downton Abbey: A New Era’, the second film about the unforgettable British fiction, hits theaters on Friday, April 29.

The second movie from downton abbey, Downton Abbey: A New Agethis is released friday april 29 in the cinces to take up the history of the Crawley family and take it a little further. This time under the baton of Simon Curtis and again with a script by Julian Fellowes, the creator of the unforgettable ITV series that was a hit around the world, the film once again counts among its ranks Hugh Bonneville (Robert Crawley), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary), Elizabeth McGovern (Cora Grantham), Maggie Smith (Violet Crawley) and Jim Carter (Mr. Carson), among others, as well as some new faces.

With a time jump in between but not too big, Downton Abbey: A New Age will be set shortly after the events of the first film released in 2019. It is 1928, nine months have passed since we last saw the Crawleys, and they are about to experience more major life changes as Downton Abbey welcomes the shooting of a movie. In addition, the Dowager Countess has inherited a luxurious villa in the south of France and new characters played by Hugh Dancy, Laura Haddock, Dominic West and Nathalie Baye enter her life.

As in the series and in the first film, the plots of Downton Abbey: A New Age They will take place without ignoring the historical context of their time, introducing some real events. In fact, it makes sense that Downton was the setting for a film shoot that year, since in 1928 the Motion Picture Act of 1927 came into force, mandating the production of a certain number of British films per year.

A new episode in history that adds to a journey towards the modern world of more than 15 years in which downton abbey it has dealt with tragedies, wars and, above all, endless social and political changes.

The sinking of the Titanic

The famous sinking of the ocean liner that sank the April 15, 1912 making her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York was the starting point for the first season of downton abbey and the first great scourge that occurred within the protagonist family, the Crawleys.


The two male heirs to the Downton Abbey estate are believed to have been fatalities in the maritime tragedy, so a distant cousin named Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens), unknown to the family, becomes their successor. This happens because, at this point in history, only men can inherit titles and properties and the Crawley family has three daughters, Mary, Edith and Sybil, so Patrick -who dies on the Titanic- becomes heir after having agreed to marry Mary in the past.

Matthew’s arrival in Downton is the beginning of the winds of change that will accompany the family throughout the course of the series and films.

World War I


season 1 of downton abbey It ends with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Throne of Austria-Hungary on June 28, 1914, which, as we all know, gave rise to the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914 and that would last until 1918.

With a time jump in between, the second season of downton abbey It began in 1916 in the middle of the Battle of the Somme, one of the longest and bloodiest that took place during the war. Matthew, Thomas and the footman William were all soldiers in the British Army during the war and Downton itself became a convalescent hospital for soldiers returning from the battlefield.

The Spanish Flu

And more tragedies arrived in the first stages of the journey of downton abbeysince just when the Great War ended in November 1918, the flu pandemic arrived, known as the Spanish flu, which we have talked about so much in the Covid-19 pandemic that we have suffered in recent years.


Named like this because in Spain, which had not taken part in the war, it was given greater coverage in the press, the pandemic lasted for two years and is known as one of the deadliest in the history of humanity, with figures between 20 and 40 million deaths in its first year alone.

And again a historical event ravages the Crawley family, with Lavinia, Matthew’s fiancĂ©e after his breakup with Mary, dying of the virus.

The consequences of war

And with the end of the War and once the flu pandemic was over, the so-called “roaring 20’s” began, with important changes in society and progress, but in which the consequences of the Great War were also noticeable.

In the post-war period, many large estates faced dire financial trouble and were sold, and even the Crawley family itself is facing the loss of its own fortune due to bad investments in a failed company. But the Crawleys were willing to prevent it at any cost.

women’s suffrage


In the 1920s, notable changes were experienced in the recognition of women’s social and political rights in the United Kingdom. In 1918 the right to vote had already been granted to women over 30 years of age with certain minimum requirements, while in 1928 it was granted to all women over 21 on the same terms as men.

The greater weight of women in work and social life is also noticeable in Downton Abbey, especially Mary and Edith, who combine their romantic plots with other important plots that take place in the family. Mary follows in Matthew’s footsteps in the administration of the land and with the modernization process to make it more profitable, while Edith begins to work on a women’s magazine, whose existence is in turn a reflection of the publications that emerged at the time. as an accompaniment to changes.

Changes in society and politics

As the 1920s progresses, Lady Rose (Lily James) experiences a more racially integrated and socially progressive jazz scene, while socialist leanings in politics and against aristocratic privileges become more common.


We are in the last seasons of the series, around 1924 and the Conservative and Labor parties were fighting for political terrain, while the Downton property continued to modernize little by little at the pace that the world and hand in hand with the proliferation of new advances and inventions . Not without the generational clash between Mary and her father and the constant fear of the end of the nobility.

Throughout the series and the first film, other events such as the Irish War of Independence (1919-1921), the beginnings of fascism in Europe or the relations between the monarchy and the British aristocratic families pass through the grounds of Downton.

A story that will continue to grow with Downton Abbey: A New Age. on its arrival in theaters this coming April 29.

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