Susan MacClare, Marchioness of Flintshirea is Robert Crawley's neurotic first cousin, the maternal niece of Violet, mother of James, Annabelle, and Rose and mother-in-law to Annabelle's Husband. She is married to Hugh MacClare, Marquess of Flintshire, who is affectionately nicknamed Shrimpie within the family and works as a minister at the Foreign Office.
Violet mentions that Susan must not have been to Downton Abbey in some time - namely between 1890 and 1913 - since she forgot the layout of the house when Susan writes to Violet about gossip circulating in London about Mary carrying Kemal Pamuk's corpse the length of Downton Abbey by herself.
In 1916, Vera Bates used John Bates's name to get a job with Susan. Vera tricked Susan's lady's maid into telling her about Kemal Pamuk dying in Mary Crawley's bed after having sex and Anna Bates helped Mary cover it up. Vera later goes to Downton Abbey after her mother-in-law's death and uses this information to blackmail her estranged husband to come back to London to live with her in his mother's home.
In 1917, Violet inquired as to the health of her niece when she rang Hugh in order to get William moved from the infirmary in Leeds to Downton Abbey.
It is currently unknown as to how she is related to Roberta. Roberta may be her mother, or, alternatively, maybe be another aunt, like Violet.
In Episode 3.08, Violet states that Susan is her godchild and that she and Hugh could not travel to Scotland - as they intended to - until July 1921 because Hugh's work "keeps him nailed to his desk." So Susan asked Violet to let Rose stay with her for a while.
By September 1921, the relationship between Hugh and Susan has become frosty due to them "living together too long" and "becoming bored" and the two of them are in a bitter "war of words".
She later confides in Cora that she is finding Rose "an education" for her. She tells Cora that Shrimpie wants Rose to stay at Downton while they are in India. She asks Cora to speak to Rose of her well from time to time, and as for her and Shrimpie she remarks "We'll soldier on" even if she wished it.
Behind the scenes
- Susan is portrayed by Phoebe Nicholls.
- a A note regarding the character of Rosamund Painswick in the Season 3 Press Pack confirms that Rose is the daughter of Susan, the Lady Flintshire, and by implication indicates Susan's surname as MacClare as well.
- ↑ Robert and Cora married in 1889, and since Cora knows of Susan and does not have to be told whom she is, Susan must have visited sometime after 1890.
- ↑ Violet and Cora discuss Susan not having come to Downton for some time in 1913, after the death of Kemal Pamuk.
- ↑ DailyMail.co.uk, A racy new maid, another shock for Lady Edith and simmering tension between Matthew and Lady Mary. Hold on to your hats as Downton decamps to Scotland By Nicole Lampert, PUBLISHED: 17:31 EST, 21 December 2012 | UPDATED: 17:59 EST, 21 December 2012; excerpt: "...Lady Rose, who was last seen in a clinch with a married man in a jazz club and is another modernising force, is at the centre of a bitter war of words between her antagonistic parents."
- ↑ SpoilerTV, Downton Abbey - Season 3 - Press Pack, page 4, Posted by b3rt4 at Monday, September 03, 2012; excerpt: "The arrival on the scene of Lady Rose MacClare, the daughter of her cousin, Lady Flintshire, will give her more opportunities to interfere."