For the die-hard fans of Downton Abbey, who have been missing the series and are eagerly awaiting the fourth, here is something that might plug the gap in the meantime. Marks and Spencer have launched a special Downton Abbey beauty range, all with Edwardian charm.
The high street retailer has signed a two-year merchandising deal with the producers of the show, NBC universal, to launch a range of beauty products based on the TV series. Products in the range will include lip balms, scented candles, signature soaps and cosmetic bags. The collection will be priced between £6 and £16 but our sources tell us that you can buy the whole range for under fifty pounds.
And even the packaging has a decidedly Edwardian feel, with ornate scrolling around the edges of the boxes, and even favourite sayings from the TV show, such as “I’d expect no less,” Tom Branson, and “No one wants to kiss a girl in black,” Violet Dowager, and “Now stop talking and kiss me, before I get cross.” Lady Mary Crawley.
The Downton Abbey collection will be available in October, and will launch to celebrate the fourth series, which is scheduled to be screened on ITV in the same month.
Downton Abbey is a hugely successful period drama, set in the aristocratic world of a post-Edwardian Yorkshire estate, and has seduced audiences in the UK and overseas, where it has proved to be a particular favourite in the US. Similar to the old TV programme – Upstairs Downstairs, it charts the tales of the class struggles between the gentry and the servants living within the same country abbey, during the First World War.
The setting for the TV series is Highclere Castle in Newbury, owned by Carnarvon family, and as Julian Fellows (the writer of Downton Abbey) was a longstanding friend of the family, he always had Highclere Castle in mind as he wrote Downton Abbey. You can visit the castle as the ancient building is open to the public, but the interior looks very different to the depiction of the TV series, as most of the ‘rooms’ used for interior filming were constructed and filmed at Ealing Studios.
The Downton Abbey collection each feature a specially designed logo of the Abbey, but are not that authentic, as we would not expect to see a lip gloss in Edwardian times. The products will be available at 250 M&S stores across the nation, with the three shade lip gloss collection priced at £9.50, fragranced candle – £8.50, signature soaps – £6, lip balm duo – £5 and the whole luxury collection for £49.50.
And this range does not seem enough to keep you die-hard fans going, then rest assured that the merchandising deal with NBC Universal and M&S is for 2 years, so we are more than likely to see a variety of different products for sale, within the next couple of years.