Downton Abbey Wiki

Richard Ellis is the King's Royal Dresser. He comes to Downton Abbey during the King and Queen's Royal Visit in 1927. While at Downton, he becomes romantically involved with Thomas Barrow.


Little is known of Richard's background however, he does invite Thomas to York with him after he visits his parents, suggesting he was born there.


Richard is introduced in the film as the King’s Royal Dresser. He arrives with the other members of staff Mr Wilson, the Royal Page of the Backstairs, Mrs Webb, the Queen's Royal Dresser and Monsieur Courbet, the royal chef.

Richard reveals to Thomas that he is going to York to visit his parents while at Downton and invites him to come along. Phyllis Baxter encourages Thomas to go with Richard as he has the night off duty. Before leaving for York, Thomas and Richard prank call Mr Wilson, persuading him to send the Royal footmen to London.

While in York, Richard visits his parents and tells Thomas to wait for him in a nearby bar. When he arrives at the bar he is informed by the proprietor that Thomas has left with Chris Webster to go to a secret nightclub. Richard heads there, and witnesses Thomas, Webster, and several other men getting arrested.

Richard uses his position as the King's Royal Dresser to get Thomas released from prison, also citing Thomas's position as Butler to the Earl of Grantham. He waits for him outside before telling him to be more circumspect in future. Thomas and Richard are later walking to the back entrance of Downton Abbey, talking to one another.

The next day, Richard visits Thomas in his office. They share a kiss but are interrupted by Andrew Parker. Richard gives Thomas a key ring to remember him by until they can meet again before he leaves.

At some point in 1928 Thomas Barrow receives a letter from Richard, the contents of which are subsequently shared with Mrs Hughes. According to what Thomas relays, Richard is to be soon married to a woman. The identity of his future bride, or the circumstances that led him to marry despite his sexual orientation, remain unknown.


Thomas Barrow[]

During the King and Queen's Royal Visit, Thomas and the King's Royal Dresser Richard leave Downton Abbey to go to York. While in York, Thomas and Richard prank call Mr Wilson, persuading him to send all of the footmen back to London. Later on that night, Thomas is arrested and Richard, using his position within the Royal Household, manages to get him released from prison before telling Thomas to be a bit more circumspect in future. The next day, before Richard is due to leave, he kisses Thomas. However, they are interrupted by Andrew Parker, who informs them the King and Queen are leaving. Richard gives Thomas a key ring to remember him by until they can meet again.

While it is unclear exactly how close the two remained after the Royal Visit, Thomas does express disappointment when he receives a letter informing him of Richard's upcoming marriage and expresses a wish for a different kind of life for himself.




Appearances and Mentions
The film The film