Downton’s Michelle regrets man’s loss of chivalry

Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery would like modern men to take a leaf out of the book of her own period drama and become more chivalrous.

Michelle, 29, plays Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV1 costume drama penned by Julian Fellowes.

Asked how she thought the role of women had changed since the days of Downton, currently set during the First World War, the actress told the Radio Times that something had been lost.

“We take so many of our freedoms for granted nowadays – I can travel where I like, I can have a baby when I like, I can do any job I want, but I do think chivalry has been lost a little bit,” she said.

“Those old manners – such as men standing when women arrive at the dinner table or opening doors for you – are lovely, and it’s lovely when you see a man doing that today.

“But young men wouldn’t think about that for a second because it’s not the culture any more.”

Her Downton Abbey co-star Laura Carmichael, 25, who plays Lady Mary’s younger sister, Lady Edith, added: “The requirement in those days to find a husband, simply to survive financially, was just awful, but for the drama it’s great because there is a real sense of jeopardy for the girls and that’s what Julian (Fellowes) writes so wonderfully.”