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Lady Mary
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Biography for
Lady Mary (Character)
from "Downton Abbey" (2010)

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The eldest daughter of Robert and Cora, Mary is the sister of Edith and Sybil. She is loyal to Downton and will go to great lengths to save it and remain living there, having already had a marriage arranged with Patrick, a cousin who was the heir when the series began and news of Patrick's death on the Titanic changed everything. Early on, she is portrayed as a petulant and cold young woman, even questioning whether she should wear mourning clothes after learning of Patrick's death as she felt no real connection to her fianc. Mary's vulnerability and compassion begin to show, however, as she is confronted with her own challenges. One of her most constant traits is her unfailing devotion to Downton as her home and, eventually, the estate over which she will preside. After Patrick's death, the family decides to urge Mary to wed Matthew, a distant cousin none of them have met and the next heir to the estate.

Mary's own sharp wit and searing observations are no doubt influenced by her grandmother Violet. She has a distrusting relationship with her sister, Edith, who tends to look at Mary as entitled and ungrateful and is not above plotting to make Mary's life miserable. Mary is often all-too-eager to reciprocate. On the flip side, Mary is extremely devoted to and protective of her baby sister, Sybil. Mary also has close relationships with the staff, including her handmaid Anna. More significantly, she appreciates and respects the butler Carson, who has worked at Downton all of Mary's life and seen her grow from a child to the woman who could one day run the estate.

Background: Mary was born in 1892 and has lived at Downton all her life.