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Meet the Downton Abbey cast's real-life partners

The popular period drama has even sparked romance off-screen...

Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael and Dan Stevens with their partners
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior Features Writer
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Downton Abbey is known for its drama and scandal. But in real life, the actors tend to live pretty normal lives. Away from the glitz and glam of the period drama, many of the stars are happily married, in relationships or have moved on from past loves. Meet the cast and their real-life partners here...

WATCH: Downton Cast Reminisce On 12 Years In The Franchise At Premiere Of A New Era

Michelle Dockery

Michelle Dockery was previously engaged to PR professional John Dineen before his tragic passing in 2015. John was 34 at the time and suffered from a rare form of cancer. Since his sad death, Michelle has found love again and recently tied the knot with Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge's brother Jasper. 

Michelle's elegant white satin Emilia Wickstead gown was complemented by an Aspinal of London Florence bag©
Michelle Dockery recently tied the knot with Jasper Waller-Bridge

Smiling from ear-to-ear, Michelle was pictured in a stunning white satin Emilia Wickstead gown, which featured a square neckline and dropped waist, and holding hands with her new husband, as they left St Nicholas' church in Chiswick, West London, on Saturday September 23, 2023. 

Hugh Bonneville

Hugh Bonneville plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham in Downton. For 25 years, the actor was married to Lucinda 'Lulu' Evans, with whom he shares a son called Felix, however, the pair recently announced their split. In September 2023, a spokesperson for Hugh told The Sun: "I can confirm that Hugh Bonneville and Lulu Williams have separated."

hugh bonneville and wife attending a Downton Abbey premiere © Getty
Hugh Bonneville and Lulu Williams recently announced their split after 25 years of marriage

Elizabeth McGovern

Elizabeth McGovern's character may be married to an Earl in Downton, but in real life she's married to Simon Curtis. Simon works as a film director and credits include My Week with Marilyn and Woman in Gold. They married in 1992 and they have two daughters together, Matilda and Grace.

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Elizabeth McGovern and her husband Simon Curtis have been married for 31 years

Lily James

In 2014, Lily James began dating actor Matt Smith, who is best known for playing the Doctor and Prince Phillip in Netflix's The Crown. In 2020, the couple called it quits, reportedly due to hectic schedules. By October of that year, Lily hit headlines alongside actor Dominic West after the two were spotted embracing in Rome. However, the rumours were seemingly quashed after Dominic released a statement alongside his wife Catherine, stating: "I just want to say our marriage is strong and we are very much still together."

Lily James and Matt Smith attend The SAG After Party At The Sunset Tower Hotel © Getty
Lily James and Matt Smith dated from 2014 to 2020

Lily has since been linked to Queens of the Stone Age bassist Michael Shuman, as well as chocolate heir, Orson Fry. As of 2023, the actress appears to be single. 

MORE: Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville splits from wife Lulu after 25 years

READ: Downton Abbey stars' fairytale weddings: Michelle Dockery's art gallery, Allen Leech's ranch & more

Dan Stevens

Dan Stevens is a happily married man with three children (aw!). Dan married South African jazz singer Susie Harriet in 2009 and welcomed their first child Willow that same year. They later welcomed their son Aubrey in 2012 and then Eden in 2016.

Dan Stevens with his wife Susie© Getty
Dan Stevens shares three children with his wife Susie

Dame Maggie Smith

Dame Maggie Smith has been married twice. Her first husband was actor Robert Stephens. The two married in 1967 and welcomed two sons, Chris and Toby, before their divorce in 1975. Maggie then married playwright Alan Beverley Cross that same year, but sadly he later died in 1998. Maggie, who also has five grandchildren, hasn't remarried since.

Maggie Smith and Beverley Cross at The Evening Standard Drama Awards, 1994© Getty
Maggie Smith and her late husband Beverley Cross

Allen Leech

Irish actor Allen Leech is best known for his role in Downton as Tom Branson. Away from the spotlight, however, he can found at home with his wife Jessica Blair Herman, who is also an actress. The pair got engaged in 2018 and married the following year in California. At the Downton Abbey premiere in September 2019, the couple revealed they were expecting their first child together. They have since welcomed a second daughter in May 2022. 

allen leech© Getty
Allen Leech and his wife Jessica

 Joanne Froggatt

Joanne married her long-term partner James Cannon, who works as an IT consultant, in a romantic Oxford ceremony in 2012. Together, the pair lived in Buckinghamshire and even set up their own production company called Run It. However, in February 2020, in an interview given to the Telegraph, Joanne announced the sad news that she and James had separated. "We've actually been separated for a little while," she explained. "I'm looking to the future… I'm just going to embrace this year and see what happens."

Joanne Froggatt and James Cannon at The Championships, Wimbledon on July 3, 2018© Getty
Joanne Froggatt was previously married to James Cannon

Laura Carmichael

The cast of Downton is a big one, and having done the show for many years, there was always going to one romance that blossomed between the stars. This was the case for Laura Carmichael when she began dating co-star Michael C. Fox (who plays Andrew Parker in drama) in 2018.

Laura Carmichael and Michael C. Fox on the red carpet in 2022© Getty
Downton Abbey co-stars Laura Carmichael and Michael C. Fox started dating in 2018

Jim Carter

Jim Carter is another Downton actor who is married to a co-star, however they met well before the show. Jim married actress Imelda Staunton (who appeared in the film) in 1983 after meeting during a theatre production of Guys and Dolls. Together they one daughter Bessie, born in 1993. The couple live in London and even have a pet pooch named Molly.

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Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton married in 1983

Matthew Goode

Matthew Goode appeared in the show towards the end of its run, playing Henry Talbot. The actor married his long-term partner Sophie Dymoke in 2014 after being in a relationship for almost ten years. Together they have three children: daughters Matilda, and Teddie, and a son, Ralph. 

Matthew Goode and his wife Sophie at the red carpet premiere of The Offer © Getty
Matthew Goode and his wife Sophie share three children

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