Royal Kate sees life below the stairs on ‘Downton Abbey’ set

LONDON (AP) — “Downton Abbey” has welcomed a royal visitor — and the TV show’s creator has told the Duchess of Cambridge she’s partly responsible for its global success.

Kate visited the set of the award-winning costume drama at London’s Ealing Studios on Thursday, meeting cast members including Jim Carter, who plays butler Mr. Carson.

The duchess visited hair and makeup departments, toured scenery construction and watched a scene being filmed.

The show’s writer, Julian Fellowes, described how a 2011 visit to the U.S. by Kate and her husband, Prince William, came as producers tried to raise the profile of the show.

Fellowes said when the duchess mentioned she was a fan “this went into the media like an Exocet missile. And soon all of America and most of the world knew it.”