Things have moved on rather
Series four finds Lady Mary at her “lowest ebb” six months after the death of her husband Matthew (Dan Stevens, who departed for America *Sob*) in that fateful car crash on the day their baby was born.
Fellowes says he thought carefully about whether or not to start the new series immediately after the accident. He says: “It seemed much more interesting to, if you like, jump forward to Mary beginning to reconstruct her life. And by leaving it six months, we could start with her at her lowest ebb, but at the beginning of the period when it sort of becomes time for you to start getting out and about again.” And by “out and about” we take it Julian means get meeting the litany of suitors he has carefully lined up for her delectation.