Time’s a funny thing on Downton Abbey. Sometimes one year seems to stretch for a decade and other times, six months go by in the flash of an eye.
That said, it’s understandable we’ve missed a few birthdays in the show’s four seasons (except yours, Lord Grantham! We just celebrated that one). To try and get up to speed, we did a little sleuthing to see if we couldn’t track down the ages of Downton’s most beloved characters and the ages of those who portray them onscreen (that last part, obviously, made for a much easier endeavor).
Enjoy the fruits of our labor below and remember to address all birthday cards for the Dowager to “Her Most Beautiful On High.”
It’s a little hard to pin down Branson’s age since he’s a new addition to the Crawley family with a relatively undiscussed childhood spent in Ireland. Born in either 1889 or 1890, he’s likely just a couple years older than Mary at either 32 or 33 and probably five years older than his dearly departed wife, Sybil. Irish actor Allen Leech falls in about that same range; his 33rd birthday is this May.
The Dowager Countess
The Dowager Countess’ age is so advanced, we can’t actually find it! But with a little extra effort and some simple arithmetic we think we have a pretty good guess.
See, the Dowager’s son Robert married Cora in 1889; the American heiress was a mere 21 years old at the time, probably the same age the Dowager would have been when she made her own match. Working backwards, we figure Violet was in her 40s at the time of her son’s marriage and so well into her 70s in the current series.
That makes sense since acclaimed actress Maggie Smith just celebrated her 79th birthday last month. And here’s to many more happy years ahead for both of you!
Is there a character you’d like to know more about? Tell us in the comments below!
Sources: IMdB, Downton Abbey Wiki