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Fan-favorite character missing from 'Downton Abbey' sequel first look

See who’s going to tie the knot — again! — when the period drama heads back to the big screen.
/ Source: TODAY

“Downton Abbey” fans who are eagerly awaiting the next installment of upstairs-downstairs intrigue have something to celebrate.

On Wednesday, Focus Features released a clip that offers an early peek at what’s to come when the period drama heads back to theaters — and it includes a wedding!

The 15-second preview for “Downton Abbey: A New Era” opens with a sweeping shot of the title estate before quickly giving a few glimpses of what life looks like now for the Crawley family, including Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael).

A look at what's to come in "Downton Abbey: A New Era."Downton Abbey/ Twitter
The Earl of Grantham and Lady Mary stand united at the family estate.Downton Abbey/ Twitter

And it even reveals what’s on the horizon for their late sister’s widower, Tom Branson (Allen Leech), as it appears he’s set to tie the knot with Lucy Smith (Tuppence Middleton) — which won’t come as a complete surprise to anyone who saw the chemistry build between the pair in the first film.

New drama is on the way for "A New Era."Downton Abbey/ Twitter
Downstairs staff Daisy (Sophie McShera) and Mrs. Patmore (Lesley Nicol) will be back, too.Downton Abbey/ Twitter

The Earl and Countess of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern) are among several other familiar faces to make a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance, but there’s also one very notable absence.

Fan-favorite character Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith), is nowhere to be seen in the clip or in several newly released photos from the upcoming feature. And when fans last saw her, the aging matriarch warned that she was ill and not long for this world.

But don’t reach for the smelling salts just yet!

The indomitable Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith), seen here in the original "Downton Abbey" television series. Nick Briggs

It could simply be that her scenes are being saved for a big reveal. After all, there's another preview on the way.

That’s because the 15-second video that was just released is simply a mini-tease for the film’s official teaser trailer, which will premiere exclusively in theaters this weekend, as a lead-in to Kenneth Branagh’s new coming of age dramedy, “Belfast.”


But after that, it could be awhile before fans get another look at a “A New Era.”

When news of the sequel first broke in April, it was touted as having a Dec. 22 release date. However, it's since been postponed and won’t hit theaters until March 18, 2022.