Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Inside The Crown star Imelda Staunton's 40-year marriage to Downton Abbey actor

The actress married Jim Carter in 1983 

Close up of Imelda staunton at the 2023 BAFTA's
Phoebe Tatham
Phoebe TathamContent Writer
Share this:

Imelda Staunton is best known for her stellar performances in the likes of Harry Potter and Downton Abbey. And much to the delight of her fans, the British actress is returning to our screens as the late Queen Elizabeth II in season six of The Crown. Whilst Imelda is very open about her acting past, the thespian keeps much of her private life under wraps. We take a deep dive into her love life and marriage…

WATCH: The Crown season six – first look

67-year-old Imelda is married to fellow actor and Downton star Jim Carter. The loved-up couple met in 1982 when they both starred in the National Theatre production of Guys and Dolls.

Imelda Staunton and her husband Jim Carter at Derren Brown's Unbelievable show gala© Getty
Imelda Staunton and her husband Jim Carter

The couple wed in 1983, a year after meeting, and have been the picture of marital bliss during their 40-year union. The couple even recently spoke about their marriage during lockdown and admitted that they're averse to technology despite it being an important communication tool.

Jim and Imelda share one daughter together, Bessie, who was born in 1993. Given her parents' successful careers in the industry, it's perhaps unsurprising that she has followed in her footsteps! She is perhaps best known for playing Prudence Featherington in Bridgerton.

The married couple have worked together on multiple occasions. They've both starred in Shakespeare in Love, Alice in Wonderland, and more recently in the Downton Abbey films, with Jim reprising his role as Mr Carson, and Imelda taking on the role of Lady Maud Bagshaw, lady-in-waiting to Queen Mary and a cousin of the Crawley family.

Imelda Staunton and Jim Carter with daughter Bessie © Getty
Imelda and Jim are proud parents to Bridgerton actress Bessie Carter

After joining the cast in 2019, Imelda spoke to HELLO! about what it was like to work with her husband. She revealed: "Downton was just luxury, like a nice box of chocolates.

MORE: Meet the Downton Abbey cast's real-life partners

READ: The Crown drops season six teaser trailer – but fans are divided over major change to show

"Jim and I only worked together for about two days. It was so nice, so exciting. But of course I have been living with Downton for six or seven years… I tried to get the dog in it, no they weren't having [it]."

Like this story? Sign up to our What to Watch newsletter and get the heads-up on the shows and films everyone’s talking about.