Actress Elizabeth McGovern to Ride on ‘Downton Abbey’ Float in Rose Parade


ARLINGTON, Va., Dec. 27 (UPI) — Downton Abbey star Elizabeth McGovern is to ride on a float inspired by the British costume drama in the 127th Rose Parade in Pasadena on Friday, PBS announced.

“I’m thrilled to be riding on the Downton Abbey float in the iconic Rose Parade,” McGovern, who grew up in California and now plays the Countess of Grantham in the period drama, said in a statement. “As we enter our final season, this gives me an opportunity to acknowledge our millions of fans in the United States and around the world.”

The 1920s-set series is a Carnival Films/Masterpiece co-production. Its sixth and final season wrapped up in the United Kingdom this weekend and will begin airing in the United States on PBS Jan. 3.

“The Crawley family estate has been painstakingly recreated in float form, complete with a magnificent landscape depicting English rose gardens and rolling green lawns and a 1919 Bentley driven by the family chauffeur,” a news release said.

“The float will feature more than 60,000 roses in 20 different varieties, including velvety Roseberry and Cherry O roses; fragile pink Titanic and Priceless roses; and English garden roses, which are rarely seen at the Rose Parade. Oriental lilies, snapdragons, hypericum and a variety of orchids will provide accents throughout the garden.”