Upon arrival, Kate was given a bouquet by the little boy who plays George Crawley.
The Duchess is normally the star attraction during public appearances, however, today one suspects Her Royal Highness may have been a little starstruck herself. Both she and William are huge fans of the show and tuned into the festive special on Christmas Day at Anmer Hall.
Downton is particularly popular with the royals, and just last week The Countess of Wessex visited the set accompanied by Mexico's First Lady and The Duchess of Cornwall. Last year she confessed to being a "Downton addict" during a chat with cast member Lesley Nichol (Mrs Patmore). Indeed, Kate's family love the show too; so much so, Carole, Mike and Pippa Middleton visited the set in 2011.
Sky News reporter Paul Harrison revealed he believes it isn't Kate's first visit to the set.
|Paul Harrison Twitter Feed|
The Palace said Kate's visit to Ealing Studios is to "celebrate the success of the award-winning production". Kate was introduced to the show's creator Lord Julian Fellowes and representatives of the studio.
Since the British period drama first aired in 2010, depicting the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their staff in the post-Edwardian era, it has captured the hearts and imagination of viewers around the world. It has received widespread critical acclaim and has become the most successful British costume drama series since the early eighties.
As many of you already know, I adore Downton. The costumes, the characters, the romances (I admit to shedding a tear
The cast are currently filming series six of the ITV drama, with cast and crew splitting their time between Ealing and locations such as Highclere Castle in Berkshire which stands in for the eponymous Downton Abbey.
Highclere is open to the public up to 70 days per year. When you visit you will recognise many rooms from Downton Abbey, including the drawing room in which Dame Maggie Smith has delivered many a withering remark to some unfortunate relation or guest. The castle and surrounding grounds are a splendid place to spend the day. If you're interested in visiting you can view the official website here.
Joanne Froggatt (Anna Bates) tweeted about the visit this morning.
|Joanne Froggatt Twitter Feed|
And yesterday Hugh Bonneville spoke about his excitement ahead of Kate's visit:
'We’re all very excited. Mrs Patmore is baking a cake and we’re all bringing in sandwiches. It’s going to be a show and tell day.'
Reporter Emily Nash shared photos of the cake.
|Emily Nash Twitter Feed|
Mrs Patmore and Daisy presented HRH with the cake.
|Downton Abbey Facebook Page|
The Duchess had the opportunity to see different areas of the production process, from watching make-up artists at work, meeting costume designers, seamstresses and cutters in the workshop and the design and production process of set scenery and props. It's very much a dream come true for a fan of the show to experience an inside look.
Robert James-Collier (Thomas) spoke to Kate in the make up department:
'You've come just at the right time, Phyllis (Mrs Hughes) is about to have her Botox put in'.
Unfortunately, Dame Maggie Smith couldn't make it today.
|Richard Palmer Twitter Feed|
The Duchess watched one take of a scene being filmed in the servants' quarters and a second take of the scene via a monitor in the 'Video Village' area.
Lady Mary and George presented Kate with a gift for Prince George. My personal favourite photo.
|Downton Abbey Facebook Page|
Master George handed Kate the wooden train for Prince George.
Molesey and Baxter offered to polish Kate's shoes :)
Afterwards Kate headed to the servants' hall to join cast members, writers and producers in an official photograph.
After walking through a covered walkway showing the history of Ealing Studios, the Duchess attended a brief reception and met production, editorial and Ealing studios staff, as well as more cast members, including Hugh Bonneville (Robert) and Elizabeth McGovern (Cora),
Before unveiling a plaque to commemorate the visit.
As always, Rebecca Deacon was with Kate today. She looked very chic today.
Kate enjoyed her time at Downton so much, she left thirty minutes later than scheduled.
Kate looked elegant in a cream coat by leading British mother and baby brand JoJo Maman Bebe.
The appropriately named Princess Wool Coat is described as "a great investment piece for your maternity wardrobe". The wool-mix fabric gives it a luxurious, cosy feel. The collarless garment features front slant slip pockets, tonal topstitching and panel seaming. It's available in limited sizing for £69 at JoJo Maman Bebe, at Gilt and Amazon.
|JoJo Maman Bebe|
Kate wore a creamy white dress underneath.
Kate selected the same accessories as yesterday; her Stuart Weitzman Power pumps. The pointed-toe stilettos are currently reduced from $355 to $178 in a variety of colours on the Stuart Weitzman website. They are also available in black and taupe at Nordstrom and Zappos with Free Shipping.
And her Mulberry Bayswater Clutch.
Kate completed the look with her trusty Annoushka pearls.
There's videos from the engagement at The Telegraph, ITV and You Tube.
It was a particularly fun visit, very much enjoyed by all involved :)
Also today, we take a look at an addition to Kate's calendar.
17 March - As expected, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit the 1st Batallion Irish Guards for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade. Kate will present shamrock to officers and guardsmen.
18 March - It was just announced this morning the Duchess will visit Brookhill Children's Centre in Woolwich where she will learn about the work carried out to support families, helping them build better lives for their children.
We hadn't anticipated another public appearance after the 17th, however, it's great to see so much of the Duchess this month. Royal reported have noted the additional date may point to a late-April birth. We'll see you tomorrow morning when Kate joins senior members of the Royal family at a service to mark the end of combat operations in Afghanistan.