Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery enjoys dog walk with boyfriend Jasper

Michelle Dockery is ENGAGED! Downton Abbey star, 40, is set to wed Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s brother Jasper… six years after losing her fiancé John Dineen, 34, to cancer

  • She has been in a relationship with the creative director and sibling of the Fleabag star since 2019, and news of their nuptials was announced in The Times
  • The announcement reads: ‘The engagement is announced between Jasper, son of Michael Waller-Bridge of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, and Teresa Waller-Bridge of Battersea, London, and Michelle Dockery, younger daughter of Michael and Lorraine Dockery of Gidea Park, Essex’  
  • Michelle’s late fiancé John Dineen, a public relations executive from Cork, passed away in December 2015 after a battle with cancer at the age of 34  

Michelle Dockery is set to marry Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s brother Jasper.

The Downton Abbey star, whose fiancé John Dineen passed away in 2015, has been in a relationship with the Fleabag star’s sibling since 2019, and the news of their upcoming nuptials was announced in The Times newspaper.

The announcement reads: ‘The engagement is announced between Jasper, son of Michael Waller-Bridge of King’s Lynn, Norfolk, and Teresa Waller-Bridge of Battersea, London, and Michelle Dockery, younger daughter of Michael and Lorraine Dockery of Gidea Park, Essex.’

The 40-year-old actress – who played Lady Mary Crawley in the award-winning period drama – met Jasper, who is creative director of Sport, Music, Drama, Comedy and Entertainment company YMU Group, through mutual friends and shortly before the news came out, the duo were spotted on a dog walk in west London. 

Celebrating?  Michelle Dockery is set to marry Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s brother Jasper (the couple are pictured on a dog walk earlier this week

A source said at the time: ‘It was all taken slowly and in a considered manner but they are really enjoying being together. Michelle has been travelling a lot to promote the ‘Downton’ movie but they have been in constant contact…

‘Their friends and families are very happy for them. It is just so lovely. Jasper is a bit younger than Michelle but he has dated other older women in the past and it appears to be working for both of them.

‘She remains a down-to-earth woman, dating an A-lister has never been her thing.’

The happy news comes after Michelle became a widow following the death of her fiancé in December 2015. John, passed away at the age of 34 after battling a rare form of cancer, and Michelle said the pair were ‘married at heart’.

Celebrations: The couple kept things low-key in the wake of the news  

She shared: ‘I refer to myself as a widow, yes. We were engaged, and married at heart, and so I do consider myself a widow.

Yay: The Downton Abbey star has been in a relationship with the creative director and Fleabag star’s sibling since 2019, and the news of their upcoming nuptials was announced in The Times

‘That’s the first time I’ve said that, and it’s a bit of a relief to say so.’

Michelle also spoke about the devastation she felt when John was diagnosed and when he passed away.

In 2017, she said: ‘I don’t have the vocabulary to describe what it felt like. 

‘And what it still feels like. It is … sorry, give me a minute. I’ve never been more committed to anything in my life than to him.

‘So at the time everything just shut down. Work, everything. Work didn’t matter. You suddenly become an [oncological] expert. This stuff becomes your world, and that of course was my priority.’

Sad: Michelle’s late fiancé John Dineen, a commercial public relations executive from Cork, passed away in 2016 after a battle with cancer at the age of 34 (pictured 2013) 

At the time, Michelle also detailed the comparisons between her own loss, and her Downton character Lady Mary.

She added: ‘One of the difficult things at the time was the parallels with Mary. It was just baffling, and still is to me, that my character’s storyline was so similar.’

Michelle had previously credited her role in the film as hard-drinking criminal Letty Raines in Good Behaviour, with helping her to overcome difficult times such as John’s death.

‘Friends and family see you through the most difficult times,’ she said about the new role.

‘But acting can help at certain times in your life. It’s a release in some sense and it was very fortunate for me that this came along at the just right time.

‘It wasn’t a conscious decision to do something so totally different from Lady Mary but I was hooked on the script from the first page. I loved the complexity of the character. Letty’s a joy to play and a real blessing for me.’ 

Sweet: Jasper is seen with his esteemed actress and writer sister Phoebe in 2019

Prior to the announcement, Michelle and Jasper enjoyed a low-key walk in a muddy park earlier this week. The actress looked worlds away from her character Lady Mary as she headed out in wellies and red beanie. 

Michelle wrapped up in a long black coat and joggers and donned a pair of sunglasses to shield her eyes from the sun. 

Jasper was also casually-clad in a blue duffle coat and jeans. The pair appeared relaxed as they strolled through the park with their dog. 

Jasper works for leading talent agency James Grant, whose celebrity clients include Holly Willoughby, Amanda Holden and Ant and Dec.   

Michelle was understood to be friends with Jasper’s Fleabag star sister Phoebe, 34, and the two stars crossed paths when they both spent time in Los Angeles over the summer.

It was reported by The Daily Mail’s Sebastian Shakespere in December 2019 that Michelle spent around £1.7 million on a new home in London. 

‘It’s a lovely house and will make her and her boyfriend a beautiful home,’ a source said.

Glamorous: The actress looked worlds away from her character Lady Mary (pictured with Maggie Smith in 2019) 

The star had cut short a trip promoting Downton Abbey in the US in 2015 to be by John’s side in his final hours at a hospice near the home of his parents, Patrick and Marie. 

She previously paid an emotional tribute to her ‘friend, king, hero, her everything’ at John’s funeral in County Cork, Ireland before she sang his favourite song.

She attended the ceremony at St James’ Catholic Church near Mr Dineen’s family home in the village of Waterfall, County Cork, along with his parents, siblings and friends.

During the funeral, Michelle stood at the altar and paid tribute to her partner, telling the congregation: ‘I was honoured to know John. To love him and be loved by him.’

She then sang her partner’s favourite song – 1930s Hammerstein favourite ‘The Folks Who Live on the Hill’ from the altar – on the day before what would have been his 35th birthday. 

Famous sibling: Jasper is the brother of Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Michelle told the packed church: ‘Whether in his work or his personal life John was extremely loyal. It was clear that when John was in your corner he was there. I was honoured to know John.

‘To love him and be loved by him. He was my friend, my King, my hero, my everything. We celebrate him, we honour him and we will miss him.’

‘John’s charm was legendary. He could persuade anyone to do what he wanted in the least pushy way possible. Particularly the women,’ she said.

‘He had a presence that was electric when he came in to the room. He had a wicked sense of humour. He had a genuine interest in other people.’

The couple had been introduced by Michelle’s Downton co-star Allen Leech after John started working at a business consultancy firm in the City of London. 

John was diagnosed with a brain tumour in December 2014 before he and Michelle reportedly got engaged in February 2015.

Michelle has two sisters, Louise and Joanne who is also an actress and appeared in the popular West End show, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

Prior to meeting John she split from Holby City actor Joseph Millson in 2012 and after the pair broke up he posted a series of tweets bemoaning the end of their affair.

Before that she was in a three-year relationship with architect Trent Davies, and was said to be devastated when they split. 

Michelle is set to reprise her role as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey: A New Era, the sequel to the 2019 film based on the ITV series, set for release in March 2022. 

Sad: The star had cut short a trip promoting Downton Abbey in the US in 2015 to be by John’s side in his final hours at a hospice near the home of his parents (pictured in 2013)

Source: Read Full Article