She's Real

03.12.15 2:20 PM ET

Real Duchess (Kate Middleton!) Hits Downton Set

Kate made a visit to the set of Downton Abbey, for a perfect English showbiz moment

In Downton Abbey, the staff of that splendid stately home are frequently required to prepare for the arrival of important guests.

And once can only hope that the imperious acting of Dame Maggie Smith—aka the dowager Countess of Grantham—had prepared the cast sufficiently for the moment when they received a real princess, none other than a very pregnant Kate Middleton, into their world today.

The Duchess of Cambridge was visiting the set of the ITV drama—which has become the most profitable British TV show of all time—today, and was wearing a brand new coat from high street maternity label JoJo Maman Bébé for the occasion.

She met and chatted with the show’s creator, Julien Fellowes, on arrival at Ealing Studios today, and also met Zac Barker, who plays Lady Mary’s son George, before being shown into the minutely detailed set.

Laura Carmichael, who plays Lady Edith Crawley, told the Mail: “It was very exciting for everyone, the cast and the crew. It was a very special day for Downton. She’s watched the show and really loves it. Julien Fellowes thanked her in his speech for mentioning the show while she was in America and that she watched it and loved it. She helped put us on the map.”

And Lady Violet?

Hit by a bug, she was not able to attend. Which is a shame, as we feel sure her verdict would have been worth recording.