Ralph Lauren does Downton

The new Robert Crawley?

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There are few things more all-American than Ralph Lauren (apple pie, you say? Pff, Mr Kipling got there first). So it may surprise you to know that the designer has aspirations of an entirely more British kind: namely, to be the lord of Downton Abbey.

The 75-year-old has long loved the Sunday night telly staple: he based his s/s 2012 collection on the drama, and the Ralph Lauren Corporation even sponsors the channel that broadcasts the show in the US. But now he has taken his fandom to the next level, by spending a family weekend at the Abbey itself.

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Ralph, wife Ricky, sons David and Andrew, and daughter-in-law Lauren Bush-Lauren (we can see why she plumped for the double-barrelled option when she married David) lived the Crawley life during a weekend stay at Highclere Castle in Hampshire, aka the location for Downton. And they certainly looked the part – just check out these regal photos, which left us asking the following questions:

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1) Is it just us, or does David (right) look a lot like James Spader?

2) What can you possibly have for dinner that would be appropriate for Ricky's amazing necklace? (Definitely no KFC Family Buckets on this weekend away)

And 3) Does this work like a foreign exchange programme, meaning that we will soon be treated to pics of Hugh Bonneville and Maggie Smith posing in polo shirts and chinos at Ralph’s NYC apartment? We can but hope.

Photography: Instagram/David Lauren

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