She may have enjoyed one of the most commercially successful movies of the year with her star turn in Cinderella, but Lily James has revealed that she’ll be returning to where it all began for her with a guest appearance in the Christmas special of ‘Downton Abbey’ next month.

The final episode of the ITV period drama, which has aired for six seasons since 2010, is one of the most closely guarded secrets in television, but the 26 year old actress has revealed (possibly without the permission of the show’s producers…) that she’ll be reprising her character Lady Rose, who was married and journeying to New York at the end of the previous fifth season.

Lily JamesLily James at the BAFTA Tribute to 'Downton Abbey'

Speaking to Harper’s Bazaar magazine after being named one of their ‘Women of the Year’, she mentioned how refreshing it was to return to the set. “It was amazing going back after a break. You are just totally re-inspired by the wonder of it, that grand house against grey skies and all the friends you haven’t seen in so long.”

Earlier this year, James had said that she was a huge fan of the series when it began, and that she’d be more than willing to return to the cast of the hit series, which is popular on both sides of the Atlantic, if its creator Julian Fellowes asked. Well, it seems as if she’s got her wish.

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Acknowledging the huge part that ‘Downton Abbey’ had played in getting her career off the ground, she said “I have such happy, positive memories and a sense of accomplishment about being on the show. I don’t know if I’d be sitting here if it weren’t for Downton. It would have all been very different.”

Very little is known about the finale of the drama, other than that Alnwick Castle in Northumberland (which is used as the location for Brancaster Castle in the series) was one of the filming spots, and that Patricia Hodge (of ‘Miranda’ fame) is to join the cast. Whatever happens, the full stop to the series is sure to get viewers misty-eyed and emotional.

As for James, she revealed a few months back that she’ll star in an adaptation of Tolstoy’s epic ‘War and Peace’ for the BBC, but that she was determined to avoid period dramas from that point on.

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