Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I wrote my 17th post in my series to explain Brexit to myself and other Americans. I’ve had a busy week and haven’t kept up with the news, although I can tell from the headlines that there’s been some. I’ll try to update us next week.
Tina reviewed Dear Stephanie, Dear Paul by Paul M. Duke and Stephanie Duke — the correspondence and romance between an American teen and a British one in the post-World War II years.
The Downton Abbey movie was great for Downton Abbey fans — all of our favorite characters doing the sort of things we love them to be doing, except on a grander scale because it’s a film. Of course, none of the subplots are very long because there are so many characters who need to have a meaningful moment.
Since it’s in the trailer, I’m not spoiling things to say that the Queen and King are coming to Downton. I wished I’d looked up royal history before I went, so here’s what I found out when I got home.
Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901.
Her eldest son became King Edward VII, for whom the Edwardian era of the first decade of the 20th century is named. He reigned from 1901 to 1910.
Edward’s second son (“the spare”) became King George V, because the eldest son, the heir, died at age 28 of influenza in 1892. King George V reigned from 1910 until 1936.
King George V and his Queen, Mary, were on the throne in 1927, so they are the ones coming to Downton Abbey.
To continue this timeline to the present day, King George V and Queen Mary’s two eldest sons were David (who became King Edward VIII, only to abdicate before he was crowned) and Bertie (who became King George VI, played by Colin Firth in The King’s Speech). King George VI was the father of the current queen, Queen Elizabeth.
King George V and Queen Mary had only one daughter, Princess Mary. Conveniently, she lived in Yorkshire so could be seen as a neighbor to Downton Abbey, giving a nice excuse for the royal couple to be in the neighborhood.
I suspect the plot of the Downton Abbey movie may not make much sense to people who haven’t seen the series. There were many moments when I smiled because characters acted just the way that I expected them to, but I don’t know if there was enough in the film to establish motivations and personalities.
Fortunately, you can see the whole series on PBS Passport or Amazon Prime.
Have you seen the film? What did you think?