Overtaking for Downton Abbey 2

Courtesy of Focus Features

It’s been over two years since we last attended Downton AbbeyCrawley’s beloved family and their help downstairs. And now with the long-awaited premiere of Downton Abbey: A New Era Finally Just a month away, there’s no better time to refresh Julian Fellowes’ historical drama-turned-film. The sequel, which hits theaters on May 20, follows the Crawleys’ journey to the south of France to unravel the mystery of the Dowager Countess’s newly inherited villa. In case you need a quick refresher, Kevin Doyle (better known as Mr. Molesley) is here with a quick recap to remind you where Household left off in the 2019 movie.

Watch the video below and keep scrolling for everything you need to know before tuning in to the upcoming movie.

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The film begins with a letter from the royal family.

The last time we stopped was 1927. The first movie opens with a mysterious letter delivered to Downton, which turns out to be from King George V and Queen Mary. They plan to visit the Crawleys on their royal tour of Yorkshire, England. Frenzied but excited, the Crawley family and their servants begin preparations for the royal family’s stay. But as the planning begins, Lady Mary, the firstborn daughter of Robert and Cora Crawley, feels that butler Thomas Barrow is not fully equipped for the festivities and asks the recently retired Mr. Carson to come back to make sure everything is okay.

Violet discovers an estranged relative.

After hearing of the royal family’s upcoming visit, matriarch Violet Crawley learns that the Queen’s lady-in-waiting is Maud Baugshaw, who also happens to be Robert’s late father’s cousin. This complicates matters as Lady Baugshaw apparently inherited the Brampton Estate, which once belonged to the Crawleys. So, in true Violet fashion, she begins to plan to reclaim the estate for her family.

There is a confrontation between the staff downstairs.

Upon arrival in Downton, King George and Queen Mary and their staff are pleasantly greeted by the Crawleys and their help. But soon after, tension begins to brew among many of the downstairs servants. The unfriendly royal staff enters and thinks they are going to run the show, determined to get Mr. Carson, Mrs. Hughes and the rest of the clan from their duties. Fortunately, power couple Anna and Mr. Bates hatches a plan to redo Downton’s surgery: she gives the royal chef a sedative and footman Andy locks up the king and queen’s butler in his spare room, while Barrow and the king’s charming servant ( more on him later), trick many of the royal staff into returning to London early. Downton’s entourage is then tasked with serving the Crawley family’s very important guests.

Tom comes to the rescue twice.

Downton Abbey movie

Jaap Buitendijk

When the royal parade in Yorkshire is about to begin, an Irish radical attempts to assassinate the king, but that plan is thwarted when Tom Branson stops him and Lady Mary disarms him. Later, Tom encounters Princess Mary, crying on Downton’s lawn over her marriage. He comforts her and motivates her to stay with her husband, prompting King George to thank him while also implying that he knows how he stopped the assassination attempt.

Barrow finds himself beaten.

While the royal staff is in town, Barrow falls in love with Richard Ellis, King George’s dresser. When Barrow goes with him to York on his day off, he visits an underground gay nightclub, but is arrested shortly after when the police raid the place. Fortunately, Richard uses his connections with His Majesty to get Barrow out of prison.

Lady Edith receives happy news.

Lady Edith is now happily married to Bertie Pelham and discovers she is pregnant again. But this complicates matters as Bertie just agreed to take the Prince of Wales on a three-month tour of Africa, leaving the couple in a predicament. Fortunately, a small intervention from Cora and the Queen helps convince the royal family to withdraw his request.

Tom begins to fall for Lady Baugshaw’s maid.

if Downton Abbey fans are well aware that Tom hasn’t had much luck in the way of romance since Lady Sybil’s tragic death in the original series. Finally, he meets Lady Baugshaw’s maid, Lucy Smith, and the two form a budding romance.

Lucy is connected with the said Brampton Estate drama.

While Violet is plotting against Lady Baugshaw, she learns that Lucy is going to inherit Brampton Estate. This leads the widow to suspect that Lucy is actually her illegitimate daughter, which Lady Baugshaw later confesses to her privately. Violet drops her agenda against her estranged relative, reconciles with her, and once again begins plotting to keep the estate in the Crawley family through an alliance of Tom and Lucy.

Violet makes a heartbreaking confession.

4127jbd0080033rc michelle dockery stars as lady mary talbot in downton abbey, a focus features release credit jaap Buitendijk © 2019 focus features, llc

Jaap Buitendijk

Meanwhile, Lady Mary is happily married to Henry Talbot, but she struggles with the way her way of life is changing. Not sure how to keep Downton going in the modern world, she turns to her grandmother for advice. Violet confesses that she is very ill and that she may not be around for long. The news upsets Mary, but Violet reassures her and tells her she’s confident Mary will do the right thing to keep Downton’s legacy safe.

In case you need a refresher on everything that’s happened before – from the time the heir to the Crawley family died on the Titanic –AV has everything you need to know for the movie.

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