Hugh Bonneville is known for playing the role of Lord Grantham, also known to different characters as ‘your Lordship,’ ‘Papa,’ and just plain ‘Robert’ on the PBS drama, Downton Abbey. No matter how he is addressed on the Emmy-award winning series, Bonneville’s masterful portrayal as the family patriarch is acclaimed by critics and viewers alike.
But not much is known about his wife, Lulu Williams, how they met, how she feels about Bonneville’s Downton Abbey fans and the surprising spot they chose to renew their twentieth anniversary wedding vows.
Here’s what we know.
How did Hugh Bonneville and Lulu Williams meet?
Bonneville and his wife met when they were in their teens living near each other in England’s West Sussex. She tells the Daily Mail, “we met as teenagers and have a lot of history,’ she says. ‘We’re not fazed by the glitz of the show business world.”
After initially meeting, they lost contact for several years once he and his family moved away from the area. Twenty-one years ago, they met once again – and the rest is a brilliant love story.
“I had girlfriends, but settling down was the last thing on my mind,” Bonneville shared. “Then you meet someone and think, ‘This is the person I want to be with.’ We had a shared history. That helps when you’re in it for the long haul.”
Williams is Bonneville’s ‘anchor’, his ‘bedrock’, oh, and ‘the manager’. “Of course, I’d love it if she found something she wanted to do – like invent a widget and make millions,” he teases.
After getting married with Lulu in 1998 at the age of 35, Hugh was eager to start a family with the love of his life, but it took a while.
“(Their son) Felix was long looked for and we’re very blessed to have him,” he says.
How Lulu Williams feels about Bonneville’s Downton Abbey fans
The down-to-earth wife of the popular and beloved actor has figured out her own way of dealing with her husband’s enthusiastic fans. She ignores them.
“I don’t take any notice,”said Williams. “I don’t notice women fawning over him — although I know everybody talks about it.”
She added, “We are just home-loving people and don’t make a habit of hanging out at celebrity parties. I don’t really have a job but my hobby is hanging out at car boot sales, buying trinkets and doing them up and reselling them!”
Lord Grantham renewed his wedding vows where?
Last year, Bonneville and his wife celebrated twenty years of wedded bliss.
Of course, then, they must have reaffirmed their mutual love and affection for one another at a posh setting such as Highclere Castle (the actual name for Downton Abbey) or at another stately English home, right?
Actually, that is incorrect.
The couple chose to renew their vows at Graceland Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas.
The Graceland Chapel website states that “Hugh Bonneville and his wife Lulu Williams stopped by in early August to renew their marriage vows. The British actor, who played Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham, on Downtown Abbey, and Williams first married in 1998.”
The website added, “…The chapel is almost as old as Downton Abbey itself, having stood in the same spot on the Strip for more than 50 years.” (Highclere Castle, the stand-in for the Downton Abbey house, was built in 1679.)”
Downton Abbey is in theaters now.