Downton Abbey Experience Goes On Sale for Charity


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Downton Abbey star Laura Carmichael is offering up various Downton Abbey-themed experiences as part of her fundraising efforts for Haiti: Make Births Safe.

Carmichael, who stars as Lady Edith on the hit series, is working with the organization to offer a range of prizes, the ultimate one being a day on set at Highclere Castle with Carmichael and other Downton Abbey cast members followed by dinner with Carmichael at London's swanky Criterion Restaurant. Airfare and hotel for two is included.

Entries start at $10 each. A donation of $7,500 will get you 1,500 entries plus tea with Carmichael in either London or New York City. There are six spots available, three in each location.

Other prizes offered include a Skype "Etiquette Session from Lady Edith," a period tea set, and an official behind the scenes of Downton Abbey book signed by the cast.

Haiti: Make Births Safe represents the collaboration of three non-governmental organizations - Konbit Sante, Haiti Hospital Appeal, and the Haiti Health Trust - with the Haitian Ministry of Health to reduce infant and maternal mortality in northern Haiti.

Carmichael visited Haiti in 2013 with Haiti Hospital Appeal.

"It was one of the most memorable and amazing experiences of my life," she said. "Having the opportunity to meet some of the amazing Haitian doctors who are doing so much, under such difficult circumstances, was incredibly moving and inspiring."

In speaking out about the health issues faced by Haitian women, Carmichael referenced a major Downton Abbey event from Season Three: when her on-screen sister Lady Sybil, played by Jessica Brown Findlay, died during childbirth from eclampsia.

"In Haiti, eclampsia is still a major risk, and still tragically takes many lives," Carmichael said. "The few doctors there are doing all they can to ease the situation. Seeing their passion was the real inspiration."

In August 2013 Haiti Hospital Appeal announced that Carmichael would officially serve as the organization's "patron."

“I’m thrilled to support HHA because their work is so inspiring. They put their money into the hands of people who need it the most and are doing fantastic work building a hospital and children’s homes that will last for generations. HHA is a small charity that is doing vital work and I am so proud to support them,” Carmichael said at the time.

Downton Abbey airs on ITV Network in the United Kingdom and on PBS in the United States. Season Five is currently in production and set to premiere in the UK later this year and in the US in January 2015.

Creator Julian Fellowes recently made headlines when he warned cast members not to post anything related to filming of the show on their social media accounts following several tweets made by Season Five guest star Richard E. Grant.

Image via Wikimedia Commons