‘Downton’ star Hugh Bonneville has been given a real-life Royal title

The fictional 7th Earl of Grantham now has a Royal title in real life!

English actor Hugh Bonneville has been appointed Deputy Lieutenant of West Sussex.

The 55-year-old star has played Robert Crawley in Downton Abbey since the hit period drama began in 2010, nearly a decade ago.

He recently reprised the role in the Downton movie, currently showing in cinemas around the world, in which the Crawleys play host to King George V and Queen Mary in 1927.

Bonneville was nominated by the Lord Lieutenant, who is appointed by the crown, so one could now say that he himself is an indirect appointment of Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II.

We’re sure the Dowager Countess would be very proud indeed!

The unpaid role of Deputy Lieutenant of West Sussex is given to someone who has served their local community or has a history of public service in other fields, Tatler reports.

Bonneville is now one of more than 30 Deputy Lieutenants for West Sussex and he’ll be required to deputise for the Lord Lieutenant, Susan Pyper, around six times a year.

He can also add the postnominal letters DL to his name.

Congratulations, Hugh Bonneville, DL!

With the Downton movie topping the box office in the UK and the US last month, there are reportedly already plans for a sequel.

Hugh Bonneville is also playing Roald Dahl in an upcoming movie about the children’s author.

The Downton Abbey movie is available to pre-order on DVD on Amazon.