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'Downton Abbey' turns water bottle photo gaffe into charity booster for WaterAid

The cast and staff of ‘Downton Abbey’ have responded to the embarrassing promotional photo that went viral last week by turning the attention from the photo to promoting a water charity, according to Yahoo! News on Saturday. The issue began when it was reported on Friday that the promotional department for the popular PBS television program had made a historical error. In a photo featuring two of its main characters – Lord Grantham and his daughter Lady Edith - from the early 1920s, a water bottle from current times was photographed on the mantle behind them – among some time piece antique vases.

Downton Abbey publicity photo with water bottle gaffe
Facebook/ DowntonAbbey

Of course, there were no such creations as plastic water bottles back in the 1920s, as NPR reminds us in its piece on the ‘Downton Abbey’ gaffe. Now the ‘Downton Abbey’ players are using the photo with the misplaced water bottle positively. Actress Michelle Dockery – who plays Lady Mary on the show – has taken to Instagram to post a photo of the cast members. In the new photo, they are holding water bottles while projecting “Ooops!” reactions on their faces. Along with the photo, it has been asked that persons support WaterAid.

A spokesperson for the show said that after seeing the reaction the picture caused earlier this week, the cast and crew of “Downton Abbey’ came up with the idea of turning some of the public’s massive attention on the photo towards an issue around water that really does matter. The cast and crew of the show hope that by posing for the new picture with water bottles – in their contemporary clothes – that they will be able to raise awareness. They sincerely hope to amplify the work of the international charity called WaterAid.

Barbara Frost, the chief executive of WaterAid, said that the reaction of the ‘Downton Abbey’ players brought a really big smile to her face. She said, “How fantastic that the attention created over one water bottle ends up benefiting some of the world’s poorest communities through access to safe, clean water today." She asserted that the amount of money that WaterAid receives will be matched by the UK Government which equates to twice as many people who desperately need clean water and sanitation will be reached.