Whatever would the Dowager Countess of Grantham say?
The owner of Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed, says the writers got death threats after Sybil and Matthew were killed off.
Lady Carnarvon said author Julian Fellowes was shocked by “hate letters”.
But in contrast, she had received “quite a few extremely delicate and utterly lovely letters of condolence” on “our sad loss”.
In her blog, she said: “These really did leave me stumped as to how to reply as the sentiment behind them was genuine.”
Fellowes had told her she “was the lucky one” as he was left to explain to angry fans that the characters’ deaths were due to “the actors’ desire to move on, rather than his desire to upset the viewers”.
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The confusion between fact and fiction is also an issue for guides at the castle.
Lady Carnarvon revealed: “Once one of our guides told me about a guest who rather firmly wanted to know where Lord Grantham was, as – if at all possible – she would like to meet him.”