Don’t be deceived by the quiet ways of Anna Bates [née Smith] (Joanne Froggatt); this spirited maid has strong opinions and a passionate nature. One of Downton Abbey’s highest ranking female servants, Anna’s popular both upstairs and downstairs. She is especially close with the Crawley daughters and in particular Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), for whom she keeps a giant secret: the sudden death of Kemal Pamuk in Mary’s bed during Season 1. Eventually Anna’s loyalty, good sense, and discretion lead to her promotion to lady’s maid, making her an even more important figure at the Abbey upon whom the whole house depends.
Having long given up hope of getting married, Anna is swept off her feet by the new valet John Bates (Brendan Coyle). Their romance is anything but easy, however. Their courtship has barely begun when John’s ex-wife Vera begins stirring up trouble that eventually lands John in jail. Anna’s loyalty and love are put to the test, but kind and gentle Anna proves her mettle, putting everything on the line to get her man home safe. Season 3 draws to a close with the couple merrily painting the walls of their new cottage and, we hope, awaiting the arrival of a little Bates.
Anna was introduced in Season 1, Episode 1: "April 1912."