The real Downton Abbey

The servants' quarters at Downton
The servants' quarters at Downton

Growing up in Downton Abbey

The television series, Downton Abbey, has been a huge success, both in the UK, where it originated, and in many countries abroad, where people aren't lucky enough to have social superiors to order them about. What these unfortunates fail to understand is that Downton Abbey is not just a television series, but a real place – and I was lucky enough to grow up there.

School was too common for my privileged upper-class family, so my sisters, Flumpy, Bumpy, Dumpy, Flappy and Clymnestra and myself had private tutors who lived in the servants' quarters, along with the footmen, under-footmen, over-footmen, left-footmen, right-footmen, butler, cook, maids, under-maids and the baker's dozen. Because of this, we never mixed with the local children in the village, only noticing them as their hungry little faces pressed close to our electric fence, their hungry eyes looking with longing at our wealth and plenty. How lucky they were to live in a society where everyone knows their place, and there is no need for social climbers and elbow-bargers. As father used to say: "Leave that nonsense to the colonies and foreigners. This is a country where a man knows his place". Sadly, the world has moved on since his day, and not much of it for the better.

Being Kate Middleton

On the few occasions when we ventured from Downton Abbey, we were driven through the village, originally by horse-drawn carriage, then motor vehicles, until our own private jet-powered monorail was installed. Passing through, we would often see the Middleton girls, Kate and Pippa, waving their little paper party napkins at us as we sailed nonchalantly by. How they would have loved to have joined us.

It was on one such occasion that we had young William Windsor with us. He was fro a family of lower-class Germans that Flumpy had generously befriended when she was hockey mistress at Gordonstoun School, Scotland, Britain. The teenage, but already thinning in the hair department, William happened to glance out of the carriage window at the even more lower-class Middleton girls. "Oh, my golly gosh!" he exclaimed, a little too excitedly in such company. "That girl is beautiful and I'm going to marry her one day."

"Which of the two, young Master Windsor?"enquired Mama. "Whatever," he replied. The idyllic sunshine gleamed through the idyllic leaves of the idyllic trees, as we sat or stood and/or wondered what the future would bring, and how we could improve, or progress or indeed further amass our word counts, by using techniques such as breaking the word 'word-count' into two words: word and count.

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