Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery opens up about her late fiancé: 'I consider myself a widow'

Michelle Dockery's fiancé sadly passed away in 2015

Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery has opened up about the loss of her fiancé John Dineen. The actress, who is set to reprise her role as Lady Mary Crawley in the popular period drama's film sequel, spoke to The Guardian back in 2017 about her life since the tragic loss of her fiancé in 2015, who sadly lost his fight against cancer aged just 34.

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In the interview, Michelle speaks of how she dealt with John's illness. She said: "I never lost hope. No. I'm not exaggerating when I say that John did not complain once, never, not once, and that gave us strength. It's what keeps you going, that positivity – to never lose that hope for a miracle. I couldn't have done it any other way."

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WATCH: Michelle Dockery reveals her most memorable Downton moments

Michelle told the paper that she found the similarities between her Downton character Mary's storyline as a young widow and her own life difficult. She said: "We were engaged, and married at heart, and so I do consider myself a widow." The actress said that to deal with her grief, she threw herself into work and also planned to take some time off to come to terms with her loss and perhaps go travelling.

Michelle with her late fiance John

Michelle and John are thought to have started dating in 2013, after being introduced by Michelle's Downton co-star Allen Leech. They kept their relationship out of the spotlight, but the star spoke briefly about the romance in September 2014, saying: "I have a wonderful man in my life from Ireland." John proposed the following year.

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At John's funeral at his local church in Cork, Michelle paid him a loving tribute: "Whether in his work or his personal life John was extremely loyal. It was clear that when John was in your corner he was there. I was honoured to know John. To love him and be loved by him. He was my friend, my King, my hero, my everything. We celebrate him, we honour him and we will miss him."

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