Downton Abbey Movie: Why Lily James' Rose Didn't Return for the Royal Visit

Downton Abbey Movie Rose

The Downton Abbey movie may feel like a complete Crawley family reunion, but one key member is missing in action for the big-screen soiree — and fans have taken notice.

Specifically, they’re wondering what happened to Robert’s trouble-making cousin Rose Aldridge (played by Lily James), last seen celebrating Christmas at Downton in the 2015 series finale. The character made quite a splash when she joined the hit show in 2012, and even when she moved out of the abbey with her new husband, she was never far from our minds.

“Lily wanted to make a cameo, but [series creator Julian Fellowes] was like, ‘There’s not enough room,’” Allen Leech (aka Tom Branson) explained during an appearance on Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live earlier this week. “It would be a bit weird if she [randomly showed up] and was like, ‘Hi, I hear the royals are here!’”

To be fair, fans probably shouldn’t be too surprised by Rose’s absence. After all, James confirmed her character’s status when the film was first greenlit in 2018, telling People, “My character Rose moved to New York, so it would be farfetched to bring her back. … I would have loved to have come back for a scene, but for a movie it can’t be like a Christmas special. It needs to be a focused storyline. There was no space for Rose.”

“Maybe [she could do it] if there’s another one,” Leech added. “We could visit her in New York!”

Did you miss Rose in the Downton Abbey movie, or were you perfectly satisfied with the Crawley family members you were given? Drop a comment with your thoughts on the movie below.

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