‘I didn’t mean it!’ Joanne Froggatt recalls ‘embarrassing’ encounter with Kate Middleton

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Joanne Froggatt made the remark in a recent interview with The Observer magazine as she recalled meeting the Duchess of Cambridge while filming a scene with her fellow cast member Michelle Dockery. 

The 41-year-old actress, who plays Anna Bates in the period drama, shared how she was taken aback when Kate walked through Lady Mary’s bedroom doors before engaging in a brief conversation with cast members. 

I embarrassed myself in front of the Duchess of Cambridge

Joanne Froggatt

“I embarrassed myself in front of the Duchess of Cambridge. She visited the Downton set and walked in while me and Michelle Dockery were filming a scene in Lady Mary’s bedroom,” Joanne remembered. 

“She said: ‘It feels very strange to be in your bedroom’. I replied, ‘Yeah, not many people get to come in Lady Mary’s bedroom.’ I didn’t mean it as a double entendre, but I swear I saw the faintest flicker of a smile.”

It’s no secret that Kate and her husband Prince William are huge fans of Downtown Abbey, with the latter having previously called it the couple’s “favourite programme” at the BAFTAs. 

And apparently, they aren’t the only royals obsessing over the British drama, with Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, also finding themselves hooked, as previously revealed by co-star Lesley Nicol.

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Joanne also weighed in on talks that rockstar Mick Jagger has supported the show for quite a while, asserting how she heard rumours of the Rolling Stones star having to cut one of his rehearsals short so that he could catch up on episodes. 

“Mick Jagger is a big Downton fan. I heard he cut short a Rolling Stones rehearsal so they could go and watch it. I’d love that to be true,” she gushed.

Further on, the Golden Globe winner shared that landing the role of Anna in Downtown Abbey was a game-changer for her career, which, despite having amassed notable credentials from previous work in TV, hadn’t been faring as well as she would’ve liked before receiving the job. 

After being cast, however, the Dark Angel star spent six seasons on the show, and due to the show’s popularity, it helped Joanne land plentiful opportunities elsewhere. 

While deeming her role on the show as a “game-changer,” Joanne continued by saying that she was glad that the show ended in 2015. 

Producers are now strictly focused on creating spin-offs of the former TV series for the big screen after the enormous success of 2019’s Downtown Abbey, which went on to pull in over £180 million at the box office. 

Working on movies instead of filming the TV series has allowed Joanne to pursue other acting roles since she’s still able to “pop back” for other Downtown Abbey spin-off projects without having to be tied to just one project at a time. 

“Downton was a game-changer for me. I’d been working professionally for 12 years when I got the role of Anna, and it hugely elevated my career,” Joanne continued. 


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Having initially struggled with fame, the ex-Coronation Street star felt “prepared” when Downtown Abbey took off and became a worldwide phenomenon, though she continues to lead a relatively private life away from the limelight. 

Meanwhile, Joanne made her debut in ITV’s newest drama Angela Black back in October. 

The show focuses on a domestic abuse victim who is seemingly living the perfect life with her husband and kids, only for viewers to find out she’s been enduring horrific abuse at the hands of her spouse behind closed doors. 

The six-part series, starring Michiel Huisman and Clement Stokes, received rave reviews from critics, but ITV has yet to announce whether the broadcaster will commission the show for a second series. 

Earlier this month, Joanne lashed out over the sexism she’s experienced since turning 40 last August. 

During a candid chat on the Reign With Josh Smith podcast, she explained: “From the age of about 38, 37, whenever I’ve been doing publicity for my work or anything else, I’ve been constantly asked, ‘oh are you going to have children? When are you having children? Or how are you feeling about turning 40?'”

She stressed that her male co-stars don’t tend to be treated with such questions regarding children — and to say that these comments have bothered Joanne would be an understatement. 

“Honestly with men and I’m not just saying this as a sweeping statement, I can guarantee it, I don’t think any man I’ve ever worked with.

“Because I ask them all the time, all my male colleagues think this is ridiculous – they never get asked those questions.”

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