Queen Elizabeth II is said to have been a "massive" fan of Downton Abbey before the series ended in England.She used to stay at Highclere Castle as a guest of the Carnarvon family, being the godmother of the 8th Earl of Carnarvon.
Maggie Smith was honored by the Queen in 2014 when she made her a member of the Order of the Companions of Honor in recognition of her 60 years in theater, cinema, and TV. The ceremony was at Windsor Castle.
I couldn't help wondering if the Queen chuckled [or not] while watching episode 1, Season VI when Robert Crawley/Lord Grantham and Violet were intently conversing about the cost of maintaining the staff at Downton. Violet said to Robert, "You think it's a bit too much for 1925?" He replied, " Who lives as we used to now?" To which Violet retorted, "Well, I don't think you'll see much change at the palace."
And speaking of the Queen...below is a photo of her leaving church on Christmas Day 2015. Isn't she stunning for someone who will turn 90 in April? She's very active too, having carried out 306 engagements in the UK and 35 abroad in 2015.
I recently read that last fall [when she became Britain's longest-reigning monarch] a journalist calculated the number of cups of tea she's consumed over her life-time based on her two customary cups a day. His calculation was 46,000 cups! She's a good testament to tea's contribution to longevity and health. Her favorite teas [I've read] are Darjeeling and Earl Grey. 2016 will be another milestone year for her, and I'll be raising my teacup in tribute!