On April 12th, 2015, author Greg Taylor hosted Julian Fellowes and his wife Emma, the creators of Downton Abbey, for breakfast in his Chelsea flat. They discussed the similarities between Downton Abbey and Lusitania R.E.X as well as the many mysteries surrounding the sinking of the Lusitania. Naturally, the question arose of the similarities and differences to the Titanic, since Julian wrote and produced a successful mini-series for the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. Julian suggested that the story of the Titanic is, in many respects, more contained than that of the Lusitania, which touches on many topics and offers a wide variety of rich veins of fascinating material. The war, the warning from the German Embassy, the complicity of the Admiralty, the misleading of the Mersey Inquiry and even the release last May of classified documents all attest to this fact. Julian asked Greg why he had opted for historical fiction rather than a strictly factual account. When Greg answered that he felt he could more thoroughly convey the complexities and spirit of the age unconfined to the proven facts, which are by their very nature merely a subset of what actually occurred, Julian knew he had discovered a kindred spirit.
Reflecting on the event, Greg said, “It was thrilling for me to host Julian Fellowes and his wife Emma for breakfast at my flat where we could review the giant storyboard for Lusitania R.E.X since Downton Abbey defined the Edwardian Era for many people. I was also pleased to learn that Emma worked for a time at John Brown & Co, builders of the Lusitania, and that she is the great-great-niece of ‘Kitchener of Khartoum’ of World War One fame.”