“They do tend to get it right,” Brian Hoey, a Queen Elizabeth biographer, told People this week of the writers and producers of “Downton Abbey.” Indeed, they’ve been consulting with Alastiar Bruce, aka Alastair Andrew Bernard Reibey Bruce of Crionaich, since the show got its start to make sure historical details were on point. (No hugging, dears.)
But still, the Queen “loves to pick out the mistakes,” Hoey said.
“The Queen did notice on one episode that there was a young so-called British officer wearing medals which had not been awarded when he was supposed to be alive. He was fighting in the First World War and the medals on his chest did not come in until the Second World War.”
Obviously, she’s got an advantage. Her Majesty the “Downton” Fact-Checker will become her nation’s longest-serving monarch, surpassing Queen Victoria’s reign of 63 years and 216 days, on Sept. 9. That’s a lot of time to buff up on British history.
Other members of the royal family — including Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge — are known fans of the series. And we can’t help but wonder how Buckingham Palace reacted to last season’s plotline involving their real-life ancestor, Prince Edward, as the fictional (yet so virtuous) Crawleys went out of their way to protect the royal family from scandal.
The next and final season of “Downton Abbey” will premiere in the U.K. on Sept. 20. A trailer promises an onslaught of tear-inducing goodbyes as characters begin to see the late 1920s as the “end of an era.” (Non-pirating American viewers will have to wait, as always, for next year.)