It has been almost three months since Eve and Emilio had been married, and now it was time for another wedding at Downton again. It was only a short while before the wedding of Edith and Sir Anthony Strallan. Eve was currently in the drawing-room with Cassandra laying in the sun near the window and Cora helping to sort out the wedding gifts as Edith and Violet enter the room.
“See, I told her everything would come right, but she wouldn't believe me,” Violet said.
“I still can't. Something happening in this house is actually about me,” Edith said with a smile on her face, “The dress came this morning.”
“I was rather sad you decided against Patou,” Violet voiced before looking at Cora, “I would've paid.”
“Lucile was safer. We don't want her to look like a chorus girl,” Cora explained. Edith smiles with a chuckle.
“How is Anthony?” Violet asked her granddaughter, “Excited, I hope.”
“Desperately. Just when he thought his life would never change, he's going right back to the beginning,” Edith replied with a smile.
“Oh. What an invigorating prospect,” She commented and Cora gives her mother-in-law a look.
“I am so happy for you, Edith,” Eve spoke, “Hard to believe that we’re almost all out of the nest when it seems like it was only yesterday we were playing with our dolls.”
“I know,” Edith said, “I can’t wait to have all of our children playing together. Are you and Emilio expecting anytime soon?”
“No, not at the moment,” She replied, “Emilio and I want to enjoy our time together for a while before we have children.”
A bit later that day, in the library, Cora arranges flowers while Robert sits at his desk, Tom and Matthew read on the couches, Emilio and Eve are sitting next to him.
“How will they advertise it?” Cora inquired her husband about Downton.
“I don't know exactly. "Desirable nobleman's mansion with surrounding estate and properties,” Robert replied.
“Where will you go?” Tom asked him.
“We have some land further north at Eryholme, on the border with Durham. It came with my great-grandmother,” He answered, “The house is pretty and we might make something of it. We could always rename it "Downton Place."
After finishing with the flowers, Cora sits down next to Tom.
“Who lives there now?” Matthew inquired.
“A tenant. But we can come to an arrangement that keeps him happy,” Robert replied.
“Let's take a picnic there tomorrow. Take a break from the wedding on Edith's last day of freedom,” Cora suggested.
“Molesley's in the hall,” Mary informed them as she and Sybil walked into the library, “He wonders if he might have a word.”
While Sybil sits between her mother and husband, Mary stands.
“I'll come through in a minute,” Matthew responded.
“Not with you, with Mamma,” Mary told Matthew, causing him to look. up from his newspaper in surprise, “Molesley.”
Molesley enters with a smile, but then his face falls to find the entire family there, “Your Ladyship, may I have a word?”
“Of course,” Cora agreed with a nod and a smile but doesn't move. Molesley proceeds nervously.
“Milady, might I be allowed to put forward a candidate as Miss O'Brien's replacement?” He requested.
“What?” Cora questioned.
“When the time comes,” Mr. Molesley added.
“Robert walks over and questions, “Is O'Brien leaving?”
“I hope I've not spoken out of turn. Only, I didn't want to let it go and miss the chance. I thought you knew,” He stuttered.
“Of course I know,” Cora said with a smile, covering her surprise, “Thank you, Molesley. I'll be happy to listen to recommendations when, as you say, the time comes.”
“Thank you, milady,” Mr. Molesley bows to her and the others and then leaves the room.
“Well, I must confess, I will watch her departure with mixed emotions,” Robert admitted as he walked toward his wife.
“Mine are fairly unmixed,” Marry commented.
“Did you have a clue, Aunt Cora?” Eve asked.
“Not a clue,” She replied, “How very disappointing.”
“But, in a way, it raises the big question: when do we tell the staff that the end is nigh?” Robert inquired.
“It makes it sound so final,” Mary spoke.
Robert takes Cora's hand, “I'm afraid it is final.”
“Well, don't spoil Edith's day. Let us get through the wedding first and then tell them afterward,” Mary suggested.
That evening in the dining room, Robert and his sons-in-law converse after the ladies have withdrawn. As being part of the royal family, Emilio wore the Order of Charles III with his attire, and Eve being his wife she would wear the Order of Isabella the Catholic to events and formal evening occasions.
“How are you finding your visit here at Downton Abbey, your highness?” Sir Anthony inquired Emilio.
“It is not that different than when I have visited other estates, and I mean that in a good way,” Emilio responded.
“Thank you, your highness,” Robert spoke.
“Lady Edith—I mean, er...Edith tells me that you're very interested in politics,” Sir Anthony said to Tom.
“W—” Tom began before Robert interrupted him.
“Tom is our tame revolutionary.”
“Every family should have one,” Sir Antony said.
“As long as you are ‘tame’,” Matthew teased.
“Tame enough for a game of billiards,” Tom retorted. The two men laugh before Tom asks, “What about it?”
Matthew tilts his head in agreement and they down their drinks and stand up.
“I think I’ll join you,” Emilio said as he stood up.
“Excellent. Can you tell them where we've gone?” Matthew asked Robert before the three men left the room.
That night, Eve was laying in the bed as she was reading a book in her old room with Cassandra laying at the foot of the bed when Emilio walked into the bedroom after getting changed.
“I received a telegram from my parents a few minutes ago,” Emilio informed Eve as he walked over to the bed and took off his robe.
“Oh, what did it say?” Eve inquired before putting her book on the nightstand after marking the page she was on.
“It said that a distant cousin of mine just had a baby and that they want us present for the christening,” He informed his wife as he got into bed, “But then it became more about us having a baby as it said, ‘You and Eve should give the people of Spain a most joyous gift by having a baby’. I knew that part was my mother.”
Eve moved closer to her husband and placed a hand on his face to turn him to her, “It is what all mothers expect of their sons and daughters, my love.”
“Even more so when you are the only child of the king and queen,” Emilio added, “I feel as though we when married, people were not happy that we had found love, but because it meant that the bloodline would continue.”
“Now stop right there. I don’t want you to fill your head with that nonsense. We were able to marry for a reason that many of nobility or royalty have not able to,” Eve told him, “We will have children when we are ready or it could happen unexpectedly like Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and if people don’t accept it, they can lump it.”
Emilio smiled at his wife with great affection, “What did I do to ever deserve a woman like you for a wife?”
“Quite simple really. All you had to do was get injured and make me pity you,” She replied with a grin.
Emilio smiled at his wife’s teasing before leaning to kiss her which became passionate. They continued to kiss before stopping. Eve and Emilio smiled at each other before they said good night and went to sleep.
The next day, Isobel and Eve were in the women’s shelter and were trying to teach sewing to women off the streets.
“This is a simple stitch, but strong, and very useful in a drama,” Isobel said.
“When do we get sommat to eat?” Mavis asked.
“Mavis, we are not here to simply feed you. We are here to teach you skills that will allow you to find better employment,” Eve reminded her, “If you and anyone else are just here to have a meal, then we would have no choice but to forbid you from ever coming here again because you are taking up time that can be used to help someone who wants it.”
“As I was saying, you should start it about, well, I would say, about half an inch away from the centerline..,” Isobel continued to instruct.
The women they are teaching stare at Ethel entering behind Isobel, and they turn around and go to her.
“Oh, I'm glad you've come back. I do hope you've come for our help. You'd be so welcome if you have,” Isobel said.
“You wouldn't say that if you knew what I am, ma'am. I'm past help,” Ethel told them.
“Nobody's past help. And if you mean by that, you're a prostitute…” Eve said. Ethel's eyes widen in shock, “Well, then you should know that it is true of every woman who has come here to rebuild their lives, and Mrs. Crawley and I are helping them. And I very much hope that I can help you, too.”
“That's right. Why not come in and help us rebuild our lives?” Mavis said and all the women cackle.
“That's not why I'm here, your highness, Mrs. Crawley. That is, I am a...what you said...but I don't want help. Not for myself, but…” Ethel began telling them but then looks over at the other women watching,” the trouble is, every time I make up my mind, I change it. I'm sorry. This has been a mistake.”
Ethel rushes out of the shelter.
“Oh, please, please, don't go. Not again,” Isobel begged as she and Eve tried to stop Ethel and the other women laugh.
Later that day, everyone walked out of the front entrance of Downton Abbey and got into the motorcars. Edith was with Mary and Matthew in their car, Sybil and Tom had a car to themselves same as Robert and Cora, and Eve and Emilio. Isobel and Violet will be with Sir Anthony in his motorcar.
Soon they arrived at the house in Eryholme that would soon be known as Downton Place. Tables are set for luncheon on the grounds. Cora looks at the large, but smaller than Downton Abbey, house nearby fondly.
“Downton Place,” Cora said. She looks at Robert who does not look at the house with any enthusiasm, “How lovely.”
“Won't it be a bit cramped?” Mary asked.
“You do realize that for most people it looks like a fairy palace,” Tom replied.
“You'll be able to run it with a much smaller staff,” Sybil said.
“This is it. I doubt we'll need more than eight servants, tops. So it'll be very economical. A—” Robert explained before he puts a finger over his lips as Alfred steps forward to place something on the table, then steps away. Eve and Emilio said with Cora at one of the tables.
“What about me? Where am I to go?” Violet asked.
“We still own most of the village,” He reassured his mother.
“Oh. Perhaps I could open a shop.”
“Good idea, Granny,” Edith commented with a chuckle before asking, “What do you think Eryholme needs?”
“Well, if it's like everywhere else: good manners and some decent conversation,” Violet replied.
“Well, there you are then. You should have a roaring trade in minutes,” Isobel said.
“How are things in Spain, your highness?” Cora asked Emilio.
“From what my mother told me in her telegram they are very good, Lady Grantham,” He replied, “And please, call me Emilio, at least when we are not in public.”
“Of course, Emilio. And how has your life been in Spain, dear?”
“It has been wonderful,” Eve answered, “During our return from our honeymoon, Emilio and I visited some towns that were on our way to Madrid. The people were so kind and the towns were beautiful.”
“I’m glad to hear that,” Cora smiled at her niece.
That evening, the night before the wedding, everyone was in the drawing-room. Mary had commented on how beautiful the gift Emilio had given Eve on their honeymoon, it is a tiara that Emilio’s grandfather had created when he married Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter, Ena. It was the pearl and diamond tiara. Violet, Mary, Matthew, Eve, Isobel, Sybil, Eve, and Emilio were seated close to each other, and Edith talked about her honeymoon.
“He thinks I don't know, but of course, I do. We'll spend two weeks in Rome, then Florence, then Venice. So, I couldn't be happier,” Edith smiles happily.
“And what about Locksley? Is there masses to be done?” Sybil asked.
“It's not too bad.”
“It's not too bad downstairs. The bedrooms are killers,” Mary commented.
“I agree,” Eve spoke, “I’m lucky that I have the Queen and Senora Torres to assist.”
“Well, don't do anything too fast. It takes time to know how a house works,” Isobel advised Edith. Edith smiles excitedly, and Sybil smiles with her.
Violet places a hand on Edith’s knee and suggests, “I really think you should go to bed. No bride wants to look tired at her wedding. It either means she's anxious or she's been up to no good.”
“I won't sleep a wink,” Edith replied after placing her cup on the table.
“Tonight or tomorrow?” Sybil queried suggestively.
“Sybil, vulgarity is no substitute for wit,” Violet scolded her granddaughter.
“Well, you started it,” She replied childishly.
It was the day of Edith’s wedding, she was currently in her bedroom getting ready. Cora, Mary, Eve, Sybil, and Anna were also in her room. Edith stood in front of her mirror and admired her dress.
“You look beautiful,” Cora commented.
“All of us married,” Edith happily sighs before she turns to look at her sisters and cousin, “All of us happy. And the first baby on the way. Why don't we get the photographer to take a picture of the four of us…when we get to the church?” She suggested.
“That would be lovely,” Eve replied.
Not long after arriving at the church, the four women stood outside as the photographer takes a photo of the four of them together in front of the church. Robert hurries forward, looking at his pocket watch.
“Well, fashionably late is one thing,” Robert said.
Mary turned to her sister and says, “We're going in. Edith, I know we haven't always got along, and I doubt things change much in the future, but today, I wish you all the luck in the world.”
“Thank you,” Edith said with a smile.
Mary kisses Edith on the cheek and goes inside. Edith takes a quick breath and Anna helps her with her train as she takes her father's arm. Mary, Eve, and Sybil walk to their pew. Robert hands his hat to an usher inside. Mary, Eve, and Sybil take their places and the guests stand at the organ begin to play. Edith and Robert begin to walk down the aisle and Strallan steps up to the altar with a grim look on his face. Cora smiles as Edith passes her. Edith steps up beside him all smiles.
“Good afternoon,” Edith greeted in a whisper.
“Good afternoon, my sweet one,” Strallan gives her a small smile. The guests watch with pleasant smiles and the music stops.
“Dearly beloved, we are gathered—” Mr. Travis began.
“I can't do this!” Sir Anthony exclaimed, interrupting Mr. Travis and causing shock among those in the church. Edith and Robert turn suddenly to Strallan and the guests murmur.
“What?” Robert questioned in a sharp whisper.
Sir Anthony looks down at Edith,” I can't do it,” Edith's smile fades. Sir Anthony looks at Robert “You know it's wrong. You told me so yourself several times.”
“My dear chap,” Robert said.
“No. I never should have let it get this far. I should have stopped it long ago. I tried to stop it.”
“What are you saying?” Edith shakily asked Sir Anthony, “I don't understand what you're saying.”
“Edith…” Sir Anthony looks at the guests who are staring in shock. He turns back to Edith in a lower voice, “Edith, I can't let you throw away your life like this.”
“What do you mean? We're so happy, aren't we?” Edith takes Sir Anthony’s hand, “We're going to be...so terribly, terribly happy.”
“But you are going to be happy. I pray that you are. But only if you don't waste yourself on me,” He said and Edith looks into Strallan's eyes, mortified.
“Anthony, it is too late for this,” Robert scolded.
“Might I suggest we all take a step back?” Mr. Travis spoke.
Violet stood up from her seat and steps forward to Edith, “No. Let him go. Let him go. You know he's right. Don't stop him doing the only sensible thing he's come up with in months.”
“Thank you, Lady Grantham,” Sir Anthony said.
“No, no. It's over, my dear. Don't drag it out. Wish him well and let him go.”
“I can't,” Edith said as she becomes more upset by the moment.
“Goodbye, my dearest darling. And may God bless you,” Sir Anthony leans close to her ear, “Always.”
Sir Anthony walks back up the aisle and Edith turns to him, but Violet holds her back.
“No, sweetheart,” Violet said.
The guests watch him leave. Mrs. Hughes and Mr. Carson give him dark looks as he passes them. Cora and Violet lead Edith to the side door. The rest of the family reels from the shock.
When they returned home, Edith ran into the house, crying in her wedding gown. Alfred turns around from pouring champagne and sees her retreating figure on the stairs. The rest of the family follows, Mary, Eve, Sybil, and Cora going after Edith. Edith throws her veil over the stairs. Cora, Mary, Eve, and Sybil enter Edith’s room to find her crying on the bed.
“Is there anything I could say to make it better?” Cora asked, trying to console her daughter.
“No,” Edith replied, she sits up and Cora sits next to her on the bed. Edith looks at her sisters and cousin, “Look at them. All with their husbands. Eve got a fairytale life. Sybil pregnant, Mary and Eve probably pregnant. Oh, just go. I mean it, go!”
“Perhaps you should go,” Cora said and the three women leave.
Dinner that evening is very quiet. Everyone, except Edith, sat at the table, eating their food, and barely speaking a word.
“Has she had something to eat?” Isobel asked, breaking the silence.
“Anna took up some sandwiches, but she didn't touch a thing,” Mary replied.
“That reminds me. Carson, I don't want Lady Edith to see any of the wedding food” Cora instructed.
“Mrs. Hughes and Anna are taking what's left down to Mr. Travis tomorrow, my lady, for the poor,” Mr. Carson informed.
“If the poor don't want it, you can bring it over to me,” Violet added.
“How can we help Edith?” Matthew added.
“You can help her by finding her something to do,” Isobel responded. Everyone then went back into silence.
The next morning, Eve is getting dressed with the assistance of Rosa at some parts of her wardrobe, now that she is royalty she must be dressed like royalty. Emilio walks back into the bedroom after getting changed.
“After what happened yesterday, I do not think that Sir Anthony will be showing his face anytime soon. How is Edith?” Emilio asked his wife.
“Anna said she got up for breakfast,” She replied, “So, I suppose that is an improvement. I’ll be back in a while, I have to go to the cottage hospital with Mrs. Patmore and Mrs. Hughes.”
“I hope everything is alright,” He said.
“So do I,” Eve walked over to her husband and kissed him on the cheek before leaving her room to join Mrs. Hughes and Mrs. Patmore in the motorcar outside.
After arriving, Mrs. Hughes stands stiffly, staring at the hospital across the street; Mrs. Patmore and Eve wait next to her.
We can be sure of one thing. I won't be cured by standing here,” Mrs. Hughes said before she walks forward and Mrs. Patmore and Eve follow.
In the hospital, Mrs. Patmore, Eve, and Mrs. Hughes wait for the doctor. The nurse opens the door.
“Do y—” Mrs. Patmore began to ask.
“No,” Mrs. Hughes answered before she stands up and Mrs. Patmore nods. It would be a few agonizing moments before Mrs. Hughes walked out of the office and told Mrs. Patmore and Eve the results of her test.
After returning home, Mrs. Patmore and Eve walked into the kitchens and Mr. Carson walks up to them.
“Well? Is it or isn't it?” Mr. Carson asked.
“It's not cancer. No. It's a benign something or other, nothing more,” Mrs. Patmore replied.
“It should go away on its own and if it doesn’t Doctor Clarkson will remove it,” Eve added.
“Thank you, your highness,” Mr. Carson sighs with relief, then pauses secretively, “Don't mention that you've said anything. She doesn't know that I know.”
“I won't say a word,” Mrs. Patmore said. Mr. Carson tries to exit stealthily. Mrs. Patmore and Eve hold in their laughter with a smile. Mrs. Hughes tiptoes in behind them.
“Did you tell him?” Mrs. Hughes asked.
“I would prefer to say, I put him out of his misery,” She replied.
The three women grinned at each other, silently laughing. Eve smiles as she walks back upstairs.