Downton Abbey Christmas special 2013: New pictures released

Rose is presented to the King while Edith struggles with her moral dilemma

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The Independent Culture

It may be cold and wintry outside, but it’s summer time in Downton Abbey this Christmas.

The drama returns to ITV on Christmas day for a two hour special which sees the Crawleys relocated to their London residence at the height of the social season.

While Edith struggles to decide whether to keep her baby or not, things are right as rain for Rose, who is presented at Buckingham Palace to the King as part of her ‘coming out’.

Keen not to miss the social season, Lady Cora’s mother Martha Levinson makes the journey from New York to London, accompanied by her errant son Harold, fresh from his recent brush with the law.

Lady Mary may have attracted two admirers last season, but this Christmas even grouchy Isobel Crawley could have a smile on her face after she finds an admirer.

Bates’ questionable crime remains a mystery, but instead the Crawleys become implicated in a scandal that poses a threat to the monarchy.

Lady Cora's mother and brother in the Downton Christmas special

Below stairs, Daisy is treated to an unexpected visitor and Carson treats the staff to a fun day out.

Downton favourites Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael and Elizabeth McGovern return for the Christmas special.

The actors are joined by American stars Shirley Maclaine, who returns to play Lady Cora’s mother, and Sideways actor Paul Giamatti.

Downton Abbey returns to ITV1 at 8.30pm on 25 December.

Rose presents herself to the King and Queen at Buckingham Palace

Video: Downton Abbey star Allen Leech on the craft of acting

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