She Said Yes! Michelle Dockery Is Engaged to Phoebe Waller-Bridge's Brother

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She Said Yes! Michelle Dockery Is Engaged to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Brother
© Provided by US Weekly She Said Yes Michelle Dockery Engaged Phoebe Waller Bridge Brother

An Abbey-worthy celebration! Michelle Dockery has announced her engagement to Jasper Waller-Bridge after a low-key romance.

‘Downton Abbey’ Stars: Where Are They Now?

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The Downton Abbey alum, 40, and her beau, 34, shared the news on Thursday, January 20, in the U.K.’s The Times, which read: “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.”

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Dockery and her partner — the brother of Fleabag alum Phoebe Waller-Bridge — have been dating since 2019, according to the British newspaper, and made their red carpet debut at the Rome Film Festival shortly after.

The Defending Jacob alum, who is set to reprise her role as Lady Mary Crawley in this year’s Downton Abbey: A New Era, was previously engaged to John Dineen before he died of cancer in 2015. He was 34.

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Gallery: Ariana Madix Was Worried About How James ‘Grabbed’ Raquel Before Split (US Weekly)

She Said Yes! Michelle Dockery Is Engaged to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Brother
She Said Yes! Michelle Dockery Is Engaged to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Brother
She Said Yes! Michelle Dockery Is Engaged to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Brother
She Said Yes! Michelle Dockery Is Engaged to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Brother
She Said Yes! Michelle Dockery Is Engaged to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Brother
She Said Yes! Michelle Dockery Is Engaged to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Brother

Reading between the lines. Raquel Leviss and James Kennedy‘s decision to end their engagement came as a shock for some as fans simultaneously watched the couple’s romance grow on Vanderpump Rules.

Not long after season 9 covered James and Raquel’s proposal, the twosome announced off screen that they had gone their separate ways.

“After these 5 wonderful years we had together, we decided we have two different goals and made the decision to call off the engagement,” James and Raquel wrote in identical statements after filming the reunion in December 2021. “We love each other very much, but we aren’t in love anymore. We want nothing but the best for each other so please keep any thoughts positive. Sending Love.”

Andy Cohen later revealed during a conversation with Ariana Madix and Tom Sandoval that the breakup news came out “for the very first time” during the special.

During the interview on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, Ariana admitted that she was surprised by the news, saying, “We were just at Disneyland with them, like, two days before and I never would have thought anything was amiss, so we were very shocked.”

For Tom, the split was “probably the most surprising moment that we’ve had on Vanderpump Rules” in several years.

The Florida native noted that even though she didn’t know the reason why James and Raquel decided to call it quits, there were signs leading up to the news, adding, “I say this with nothing but love in my heart for James, I think when he stopped drinking and became sober there were other issues that he was not going to — his refusal to go to real therapy honestly is a huge red flag for me.”

Shortly after James and Raquel announced that they parted ways, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that the “hard decision” was the result of a “tumultuous relationship.”

“They both want different things,” the insider told Us. “They don’t have love anymore in terms of a romantic relationship, but they still have love for each other as friends. … They’re really trying to figure out what their lives look like now that they’ve split. They have a lot of admiration and respect for each other.”

Some viewers of the Bravo hit series weren’t as thrown by the offscreen development, pointing out that the pair’s relationship was far from perfect on the show. A major example was the way fans questioned James’ behavior when it came to Raquel considering plastic surgery.

“Raquel got a nose job. It didn’t go to plan. I don’t know if I want her to get the surgery because if it doesn’t go right again, what do you think that’s going to do to our relationship?” the former SUR busser shared with costar Lala Kent during a November 2021 episode. “No, I’m not going to leave her. But come on. Is that really fair?”

The musician clarified that his fiancée trying to fix her nose was an inconvenience for him, adding, “I don’t want a fiancée with a botched nose. There I f–king said it. I’m not a f–king a–hole, these are the facts.”

During a confessional interview in that same episode, James recalled how their first meeting in 2016 had a role to play in how he viewed their romance.

“Why did I want to take her home the night I met her on New Year’s Eve. Did I know how deep she was? Did I know how kind and patient she was that night?” he continued. “No. I knew that she was a 6-foot supermodel from California.”

Scroll down to see the signs in season 9 of Vanderpump Rules that James and Raquel were headed for a split:

Comments About Raquel’s Surgery

Season 9 of Vanderpump Rules followed Raquel’s journey to fix a botched nose job. During a November 2021 episode, Lisa Vanderpump took the couple to visit Paul Nassif for help with Raquel’s issue. At the time, James’ shared some controversial views when the plastic surgeon said that Raquel would need to take some bone from under her breast to help fix her nose.

“Now we’re going to have scars down here and it could be not perfect up here. I don’t even know what Raquel’s thinking when she hears that, but if it’s anything other than, ‘No! then we have a problem,” he said to cameras before the doctor confirmed that he wasn’t at fault for his fiancée’s slanted nose. “That’s a win! Now I’m not obligated to pay for the next nose job, right?”

Later that night, James and Ariana didn’t see eye to eye when he asked their friends, “Do you know how f–king stressful [Raquel’s nose issues] are for me, dude? Who is staring at her f–king nose every day? Me. She doesn’t have to stare at her nose. I do.”

In a confessional interview, Ariana clapped back, “Stressful because he has to look at it? James should probably just, like, not ever say that ever again.”

Raquel, for her part, later addressed James’ comments, saying, “Sometimes he thinks about himself before other people. All I really want is for James to recognize his mistakes. He needs to learn to be patient.”

James’ Reaction at Game Night

During a November 2021 episode, James raised eyebrows when he lashed out at Raquel while they played a group game.

“It’s pretty f–king annoying playing a drinking game sober while everyone’s s–tfaced off absinthe,” he explained in a confessional interview about the situation. “Like this is just annoying at this point. Like, Raquel can’t get one answer right. It’s winding me up.”

The night ended early when James referred to Raquel and Charli Burnett as “so dumb” and the next morning she explained to her fiancée that his rage was affecting others, saying, “I feel like sometimes you have a tendency to think about yourself before other people.”

Discussing Their Future

While reflecting on their fight about Raquel’s surgery, James admitted that he didn’t think his fiancée would support him in a similar situation.

“What if I went and botched my nose? You would f–king end up probably leaving me eventually,” James said to Raquel, who responded, “Is that what you would do with me?”

Raquel pointed out that James shouldn’t have such a strong opinion about what she chose to do to her body.

“So then maybe don’t vocalize about what’s going on in your head about your personal issues about my body,” she added in the November 2021 episode. “Because your No. 1 job as my fiancé is to support me and not add to the stress that I’m already feeling.”

James, for his part, apologized before pointing out that there is a “learning curve” when it comes to dealing with issues in their relationship.

Concerns About His Controlling Behavior

In a December 2021 episode, James received backlash from his costars when he was confronted about his possibly “overcontrolling” behavior toward Raquel.

“Am I controlling? You know, I thought you liked it when I decide stuff for you,” he said in a past conversation with his fiancée, who noted, “That’s actually the one thing that I can’t stand.”

The musician explained that him supporting a “classy” bachelorette party for Raquel didn’t mean he made all of her decisions, telling Tom, “I am not controlling. I’ve been controlling in the past with past girlfriends, right? But I am not a controlling person, fiancé [or] boyfriend to Raquel.”

Getting Caught in the Middle

During a January 2022 episode, Ariana discussed with her boyfriend how she thought James was “losing it” towards those around him.

“The whole thing just really rubbed me the wrong way. Like at Schwartz and Sandy’s, when him and Brock got into it and me and Raquel and Katie were at the other end of the bar, at one point he, like, came over and he grabbed her wrist,” the former SUR bartender recalled at the time. “I called her on FaceTime and he was, like, really rude to me on the phone as well.”

A flashback showed Ariana trying to check in with Raquel about the incident, saying, “When he came over to us and he grabbed your wrist? That s–t doesn’t f–king fly with me.” James then came into the room and shut down Ariana’s concerns.

Later in the episode, Ariana addressed the issue during James and Raquel’s engagement party in Santa Ynez.

“I know you’ve been on edge the last few days and you have kind of been firing off at people,” Ariana told the U.K. native, who replied, “I haven’t been firing off at people. You were like on a rant about me for like eight minutes to Raquel.”

James apologized when the Florida native pointed out he wasn’t “supposed to be a part of that conversation” between her and Raquel.

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“I don’t have the vocabulary to describe what it felt like,” the Godless star told The Guardian in November 2017 two years after the PR executive’s death. “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.”

Dockery continued at the time: “I never lost hope. No. I’m not exaggerating when I say that John did not complain once, never, not once, and that gave us strength. It’s what keeps you going, that positivity – to never lose that hope for a miracle. I couldn’t have done it any other way. … John was a very private person, and the hardest thing was keeping it out of the press when he was sick. It took a lot.”

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The England native told the British outlet that she had “spent more time in hospitals that year than some people do in a lifetime” and had learned to “see things different” after her loss.

“I wouldn’t wish it on anyone or expect them to know,” Dockery noted. “Oh, I refer to myself as a widow, yes. We were engaged and married at heart, and so I do consider myself a widow.”

After moving on with the TV producer, the pair kept their budding romance relatively quiet.

“This is something that’s personal,” the Anna Karenina actress said, playing coy during a Tatler interview in February 2020 when asked about her beau and his famous sister, 36. “I guess what I’ve learnt is to keep talking about the work. There are a lot of other things that come along with success and that would be my advice for anyone: keep your head down, make it about the job.’ I feel grateful. I’d achieved a lot by the time I was 30. … But it’s put me in a position now where I can slow down. This business, it never really stops. You do something, you promote it, you’re on to the next job. I’m learning I need to find ways to switch off. Unwind.”

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