Downton Abbey PS

Get ready to welcome His Majesty!

The first full trailer for the Downton Abbey movie has arrived, and it confirms some royally big news: The film will center around the king and queen’s visit to Downton and the Crawley family and staff’s attempts to prepare for this momentous occasion — including Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) calling on Carson (Jim Carter) for assistance. “I’ll be there in the morning,” he assures her. The royals aren’t actually seen in the new footage, but there are glimpses of all the pomp and circumstance around their arrival, where they’re greeted outside the stately Downton manor by Lord and Lady Grantham (Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern).

Movie reporters saw a version of this trailer earlier this spring at CinemaCon in Las Vegas. The Downton team also hyped the trailer’s release a day earlier, dropping a new poster and brief teaser for the film.

Downton Abbey the Movie poster CR: Focus Features
Credit: Focus Features

Last winter, director Michael Engler teased that the movie would center around an “event,” saying, “Life is settling into these new realities when this event happens at Downton that brings everybody together. The story line has expanded the scale of it. It takes the things you love about Downton — the romance, the intrigue, the pageantry — and makes it bigger.”

There’s pretty much nothing bigger than a visit from the British monarch and his wife. The series is set to pick up approximately 18 months after the end of the series, so the fall of 1927. At this time, King George V (grandfather of the current British monarch, Elizabeth II) reigned alongside his wife, Queen Mary.

What this regal event means for the Crawley family will comprise the bulk of the film’s drama, but it’s clear it will involve the entire cast of characters coming together to make the best possible impression on the royal family, which includes inviting Carson (Jim Carter) back to the Abbey’s hallowed halls to help the downstairs staff put their best foot forward, as we saw in Monday’s teaser. The trailer even includes a shot of the Dowager (Maggie Smith) in a tiara!

Downton Abbey has seen a wide range of impressive visitors over the years, from the first season’s very eventful visit from the Turkish diplomat Kemal Pamuk (Theo James) to various members of the nobility throughout the series’ six seasons. But no one quite equals the King and Queen of England, a visit on the scale appropriate to a film determined to make this world and characters “bigger and better than ever,” in the words of Engler.

Downton Abbey hits theaters Sept. 20. Watch the new trailer above.

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