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Seniors Recreate 'Downton Abbey' Scenes That Even The Dowager Countess Would Love

03/17/2015 12:48 pm ET | Updated Mar 17, 2015
carolina meadows retirement community

"Downton Abbey" fever has quickly spread, spurring everything from Victorian high teas to a beauty range. But some seniors took it one step further and decided to play dress-up and recreate the pomp and grandeur of Downton and the Granthams, all for a good cause.

The residents of North Carolina's Carolina Meadows Retirement Community, many of whom are dedicated watchers of the hit series, decided to participate in their local public television channel, UNC-TV's, annual fundraiser by supporting their favorite show.

The residents came up with the idea of a photo shoot and were showered with community support for the three-month project, receiving costumes and tuxedos, free of charge, and also the help of photographer Jack Benjamin. They spent countless hours trying to get every detail right, even making handmade jewelry and touching up an antique car to match the period.

The photos were unveiled to the public in a Downton-themed manor-style dinner, to help raise money for the fundraiser, which ends Sunday.

"Everything was so professional looking," resident Albina Giardino said in a release. "Everyone looked so happy in the photos and that made us feel happy," said resident Chuck Giardino.

Take a look through the photos yourself and we promise you'll want to play dress-up and have a cuppa yourself.

  • 1
    Courtesy of Carolina Meadows Retirement Community
    Inspired by “Downton Abbey’s” Lady Sybil Crawley, Christine Kesner treats wounded soldier, Jim Seitzer.
  • 2
    Courtesy of Carolina Meadows Retirement Community
    Carolina Meadows residents Rowie Samson, Jim Borden, Jackie Heywood, Dorothy Samitz, Bill Delanty and Pat DeTitta enjoy a feast served with impeccable decorum by Host Bob Merriam.
  • 3
    Courtesy of Carolina Meadows Retirement Community
    Carolina Meadows resident Sam Ligon embodies the stately dignity of Lord Grantham’s right-hand man and butler Charles Carson. Ligon bears a striking resemblance to Jim Carson, who plays Charles Carson on “Downton Abbey.”
  • 4
    Courtesy of Carolina Meadows Retirement Community
    The lovely ladies of “Downton Meadows” take afternoon tea in elaborate gowns provided by PlayMakers Repertory Company. Barbara Modisett, Barbara Hardin, Mavis Gill, Beverly Milton and Taimi Anderson had a wonderful time traveling back to the early 1900s for this creative “Downton Abbey”-inspired photoshoot. (Standing - left to right: Barbara Modisett, Barbara Hardin, Mavis Gill. Seated - left to right: Beverly Milton, Taimi Anderson.)
  • 5
    Courtesy of Carolina Meadows Retirement Community
    Carolina Meadows residents Eleanor Brooks, Martha Hutt, Barbara Rich, Beverly Patterson, Michael Kesner, Josh Weiser and Fred Mueller gather for a lively game of croquet. In accordance with Abbey protocol, decorum is more important than skill. Left to right: Eleanor Brooks (seated), Martha Hutt (standing), Barbara Rich (seated), Beverly Patterson (standing), Michael Kesner (kneeling), Josh Weiser (standing), Fred Mueller (standing).
  • 6
    Courtesy of Carolina Meadows Retirement Community
    Carolina Meadows residents Mariechen Smith and George Evans welcome visitors to “Downton Meadows” with a beautiful, hand-painted sign by resident and organizer Susan Gaca.
  • 7
    Courtesy of Carolina Meadows Retirement Community
    Housemaid Anna Bates (Carol Lehmann) tends to Lady Mary Crawley (Vice President of Sales and Marketing Melissa Kass). Carolina Meadows staff members didn’t want to miss out on the “Downton Meadows” fun!
  • 8
    Courtesy of Carolina Meadows Retirement Community
    Inspired by “Downton Abbey’s” Lord Grantham, Don Stedman poses for this iconic photo with “Lady” by his side.
  • 9
    Courtesy of Carolina Meadows Retirement Community
    Mrs. Hughes (Sallie Comey) ends her day with her cup of tea, as head housekeeper in charge of all female servants at “Downton Abbey.” Organizers at “Downton Meadows” worked particularly hard to get the lighting and furnishings in this photo just right.
  • 10
    Courtesy of Carolina Meadows Retirement Community
    Braving the summer heat, with temperatures up to 100 degrees, Carolina Meadows residents Ted Bigelow (as Lord Grantham) and Lynn Ogden (as chauffeur Tom Branson) pose with an antique car.
  • 11
    Courtesy of Carolina Meadows Retirement Community
    Amy Gorley, Carolina Meadows’ director of strategic initiatives and outreach, begins preparations for another elegant banquet as assistant cook Daisy Mason with resident Helen Stedman as Beryl Patmore, the head cook of “Downton Meadows.” Vice President of Dining Services Mark Maxwell provided an antique British scale to add authenticity to the shoot.
  • 12
    Courtesy of Carolina Meadows Retirement Community
    With her regal cane and distinguished expression, Carolina Meadows resident Dorothy O’Connell embodies the imperious spirit of “Downton Abbey’s” matriarch, Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham.
  • 13
    Courtesy of Carolina Meadows Retirement Community
    With a beaming smile and bright expression, Carolina Meadows resident Elizabeth “Ki” Caldwell radiates as Countess of Grantham Cora Crawley relaxing on the croquet court.

Earlier on HuffPost50:

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