Arts & Culture

WATCH: Barbara Bush On Downton Abbey, Her Favorite Character, And The Main Difference With Life At The White House

She particularly likes the strong-willed women in the show

It is well-known that former First Lady Barbara Bush has been a strong advocate for literacy programs, and has a passion for literature.

What may not be so publicly known is her love of PBS’ “Downton Abbey”, and why she watched season after season, by her own account, of the show.

In this candid conversation with Houston Public Media’s Ernie Manouse four years ago, Mrs. Bush explained  the reasons why she became a Downton fan.

“I’m a great Jane Austen and (Anthony) Trollope fan,” the former First Lady said. “And, somehow…this program… has an awful lot in common with the wonderful Jane Austen stories.”

And her favorite character? Let’s say that’s a very strong-willed woman, which Downton Abbey is full of, but you’ll need to listen to the conversation to find out.

However, although the Downton Abbey’s lifestyle and the White House’s may be seen as similar from the outside, there’s one major difference, the former First Lady points out: There are no servants at the presidential residence, only public servants.

“…The White House has unbelievable staff, but they are… comfortable to us. They are not servants. They are public servants, like we were,” Mrs. Bush explained as she remembered her years there as First Lady. “But I loved them as friends,” she added. “And I guess they do on Downton Abbey too.”

 

 

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