You may never get to set foot on Downton‘s palatial estate, but at least you can look (and drink) like you have. The production team works closely with third-party companies to license tea, wine, jewelry, linens, board games, candles, and more merchandise bearing the Downton brand (some of which is available at ShopPBS.org). “We’re responding to a demand that consumers have to own a piece of the show,” says exec producer Gareth Neame. “People have an intense relationship with this show, so we attempt to be as protective of the products as we are of the show itself.” While jewelry is the big seller so far, perhaps more interesting are the products that didn’t make it past Neame’s desk. “We pass on things that are wrong for the period, or aren’t in keeping with the [show’s] classy nature, or have likenesses that would be unflattering to our cast.” Guess your Mrs. Patmore action figure will have to wait.
The Tea “We live in an age where people want to drink all sorts of different flavors of tea,” says Neame, “but I think the characters would have drunk only one very conventional kind.” The Republic of Tea offers three flavors, including the oh-so-dignified Grantham Breakfast Blend.
The Jewelry The Crawley daughters in particular inspired the licensed line of necklaces, bracelets, and (duh) tiaras. “Our costume designer was closely involved in the styling of the jewelry,” says Neame of the Macy’s collection.
The Wine Neame was insistent that “the wine be as close as we can get to the type of wine that Lord Grantham himself would have drunk.” Hence the red and white French Bordeaux.
The Bell The row of bells adorning the servants’ quarters can now be replicated in your own home, thanks to Kurt S. Adler’s ornaments (other baubles include miniatures of the castle and the infamous motorcar). “I think they’re very classy,” says Neame. Meanwhile, you’re welcome to try ringing for your spouse — at your peril.