Speaking of Downton Abbey, what was the name of the Earl of Grantham’s beloved Yellow Labrador Retriever that passed away during season five?
Extra bonus points if you can name the Yellow Lab from season one!
The answer? Isis is the name of the Lab that passed away during the most recent season. (And if you didn’t shed a few tears when she spent her last night in the bed with Lord and Lady Grantham, then you are made of far sterner stuff than I am.)
There was another dog in season one named Pharaoh, although I cannot say with 100% certainty whether the name was ever given on air, so don’t kick yourself if you didn’t remember. Apparently, Pharaoh (the character, not the real dog) passed away during the gap between series one and two and was replaced by Isis.
Interestingly enough and according to most reports, Roly – the dog that played Pharaoh – lost his TV gig when Lady Carnarvon’s dogs reacted negatively to the presence of other male dogs. (Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey is filmed, is home to Lord and Lady Carnavan.) Ellie, a female, was brought in to play Isis in season two and Abbey, another female Yellow Lab, played Isis from season three on.
Moreover (who knew the canines were as interesting as the human Downton Abbey characters, right?), the names Isis and Pharaoh were most likely given because the Highclere has a connection to King Tut. The 5th Earl of Carnarvon was an amateur Egyptologist and accompanied Howard Carter during the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun. Highclere even has an Egyptian exhibition to celebrate the 5th Earl’s accomplishments.