Downton Abby and her mother, Mary, return to London in early 2018 for the first time since the series began.
The reunion of the Abby siblings, who have been on a tour of the United Kingdom since its premiere, is the first of many that will follow as the series heads to the Middle Kingdom and Asia.
The British show, which returns on June 7, has seen its cast and producers, including writer-producers Julian Fellowes and Sarah Polley, visit various countries in Asia and the Middle East.
Here, Abby and Mary are joined by their British-born father, David, who was a doctor in the U.K. until he was forced to flee the country during the Second World War.
The siblings are now staying in the house in London’s St. James’s Palace, where they are joined daily by their American friend, Harry, and the couple’s other friends, Sophie (Jane Krakowski), who is a teacher in London and who is also the niece of actress Lizzy Caplan, and Elizabeth (Amanda Seyfried), who works in a London hotel.
“We were on our own a lot,” Abby tells PEOPLE about the trip, which has taken in Japan, South Korea, China, Australia and New Zealand.
“It was a lot of travelling.”
Abby and Harry are now married, while Elizabeth has moved to New York.
“The show is just so much about people coming together,” Abby says.
“What’s the difference?
The people who have come together in the show have been so great to us.”
Abby explains that the show is so much more than the show and that her parents’ relationship is “just one more thing that I’m looking forward to.”
The series also includes the return of a character, Lucy (Zoe Kazan), who has been in the news recently after the actress said she would no longer be appearing on the show because of her relationship with her co-star, Sarah Gadon.
“I don’t want to be in that situation,” Lucy says.
Abby says she is “very proud” of Lucy and says she doesn’t want Lucy to “come home to a broken home.”
“It’s not going to be the same,” she adds.
“But it’s better than the real world, which is so very harsh.”
Abby says the experience of filming in the Middle Kingdoms has been “very difficult” and that she and her family have been treated differently.
“My mum and I are treated so differently because of our nationality,” she says.
(The show has yet to officially announce which characters will be returning.)
“The way we’ve been treated has been a big part of it.
My mum and my family are just treated like we’re not even human beings anymore.
We’re not people, we’re animals.”
Abby also explains that she had a “great time” during the filming of Downtons coronavirus scare, which she says “took the cake.”
The producers have previously said they will not show the actual coronaviral spread, but Abby says they are doing so because “it was a good scare” for the producers.
“There’s a lot to be learned from this.
It’s a really good time to be alive,” Abby told PEOPLE.
“You’ve just got to stay strong.”
Abby, who is pregnant with her first child with husband Harry, will continue to live with her parents, and she hopes to find the time to pursue a career in acting.
“When I was in England, I wasn’t as interested in doing any sort of career,” she said.
“And I still am not.
But I’m very happy to be able to do a career as a child actress.
It really is the best place to be.”
For more on Downtones upcoming schedule, visit our DowntONAbby page.