5 things you didn't know about Downton Abbey

Fan of the period drama? Check out these facts you might have missed…

Downton Abbey will soon return to the big screens for its highly-anticipated second feature film, and we cannot wait to see what's in store for the Crawleys!

MORE: How much did the stars of Downton Abbey make during the show?

As fans of the show know, the series, which stars Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Maggie Smith and more, began in 2010 and has only grown in popularity over the last decade. 

But did you know the show has royal fans and a key character nearly got written out after three episodes? Keep reading for five of the most interesting facts about Downton Abbey you might not know...

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WATCH: Are you excited for the second Downton Abbey film?

Each episode cost more than £1million to create

According to The World of Downton Abbey, each episode of the show cost around £1 million (approximately $1.5 million) to produce. Given that the show ran for six seasons and featured five Christmas specials, this totals to an eye-watering amount. However, given the show's strict attention to detail and historical accuracy, we're not surprised!

MORE: Downton Abbey cast then vs now: see how the stars have changed over the years

MORE: Fans left disappointed after Downton Abbey 2 delay

One key character was nearly written out of the show

Tom Branson, played by Irish actor Allen Leech, began his story on the show as a humble chauffeur, but after falling in love with the youngest of Lord Grantham's daughters, he became an integral part of the show - and the Crawley family. But he was actually only supposed to be in the show for a short while.

Allen Leach's character Branson was only supposed to appear for three episodes

Allen has revealed that he initially signed on for three episodes and his character arc was meant to see him being fired for romancing Lady Sybil. However, creator Julian Fellowes was so interested in the character he kept him on.

The Queen is a fan

Many know that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge as well as the Duchess of Cornwall and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, are all big Downton Abbey fans, but did you know that the Queen is too?

The Queen is reportedly a fan of the show

Speaking to HELLO! Lord Carnarvon, who owns Highclere Castle, the stunning Grade-I listed house where the period drama is filmed, revealed that Her Majesty has watched Downton in the past. "Well, I'm sure she's watched some of it," Lord Carnarvon said. "But she's such a busy, amazing lady that I doubt she'd have time to sit and see it all."

A number of A-list stars nearly appeared in the series

Several Hollywood names nearly paid a visit to Highclere! Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman were supposed to guest star together on an episode of this show as a married couple. Sadly, Kate could not commit to the filming schedule as she was expecting a baby. And although Alan was interested, he didn't want to do it without Kate.

Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman were supposed to guest star in the series

Additionally, Gillian Anderson has revealed she was approached to play the role of Cora Crawley, who was ultimately portrayed by Elizabeth McGovern.

MORE: Downton Abbey star Maggie Smith looks incredible at start of career - see the gorgeous snaps

The costumes are stunning, but smell awful

Several cast members of the show have revealed that the costumes are, in many cases, actual articles of clothing from the 1910s and 1920s and so they are so fragile that they cannot be laundered, and as a result, don't smell very good.

The costumes are so fragile that they cannot be laundered

"We do stink, as they don't wash our costumes," Sophie McShera, who played cook's assistant Daisy, once explained to the Daily Mail. "They have these weird patches, which are sewn into the armpits and which they wash separately."

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