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FIRST TRAILER: 'Downton Abbey' Gets Royal Outing In Christmas Special (VIDEO)

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'Downton Abbey' gets a royal outing for its Christmas Special.

It's the summer season, and as part of Rose's 'coming out' she is to be presented at Buckingham Palace.

The family and servants are at Grantham House, their London residence, preparing for the busy social calendar.

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Not one to miss such a grand occasion, Cora's mother, Martha Levinson (Shirley MacLaine) makes the journey from New York with her playboy son Harold (Paul Giamatti), fresh from his recent brush with the law. Both outspoken and larger-than-life, they make quite an impression amongst certain members of London's high society, in particular with Lord Aysgarth, played by James Fox.

Isobel finds herself with an admirer while Edith is wrestling with a moral dilemma. Downstairs, Daisy gets an unexpected invitation and Carson treats the staff to a special day out. When the Crawleys are implicated in a scandal that threatens to engulf the monarchy, Robert must go to great lengths to protect the royal family, and his own.

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This special Christmas episode was filmed in spectacular locations in London and the south of England including Lancaster House, used to depict the interiors of Buckingham Palace when Cora presents Lady Rose to The King and Queen,

The episode will feature our returning stars Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Phyllis Logan, Samantha Bond, Laura Carmichael, Lily James, Allen Leech, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, Lesley Nicol, Sophie McShera, Rob James-Collier, Ed Speleers, Cara Theobold, Kevin Doyle and Raquel Cassidy.

'Downton Abbey Christmas Special' will be shown on ITV on Christmas Day at 8.30pm.

Around the Web

"Downton Abbey" Christmas Special 2011 (TV Episode 2011) - IMDb

"Downton Abbey" Christmas Special 2012 (TV Episode 2012) - IMDb