How are we going to look Dame Maggie in the face after this?
The Daily Mail reported yesterday that the UK production company behind everyone's favorite buttoned-up British passionstravaganza was forced to set its legal team on PBS after the American broadcaster began hawking unauthorized "Downton-inspired" jewelry named for the show's characters on its website.
No profits from the so-called "Downton Abbey Collection" (Bold, PBS) were returned to the show's writer and creator Julian Fellowes, or to Carnival Films, which owns the copyright to the series.
A very British spokesman for Carnival Films told the Daily Mail:
We did not authorise the sale of Lady Mary jewellery. Our lawyers have been in contact with PBS in order to remove these items from sale.
While it was the "Lady Mary knotted pearl necklace and earring set" (priced at $159.99) that drew the most ire, heads shook over the whole kit and caboodle of vaguely Edwardian-looking items on offer, including pearl drop earrings, a cameo brooch, and one truly heinous "English crown service tea set."
Carnival Films must have had some brilliant lawyers, not unlike the dashing Matthew Crawley, working on the case, though. The PBS website has since been scrubbed clean of any traces of the collection.