British TV Moms at Their Finest!



British Moms: Downton Abbey & Doc Martin

Some say a mother’s job is never done. In many ways, they’re right. From pregnancy, to birth, to raising a little human into a respectable adult human, mothers are a special force of nature. The best mothers provide love, support, honesty, discipline and perspective when children need it the most. 

With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, we wanted to offer a special look at the best British mothers that can be seen, heard and adored on VisionTV. 

“Miranda”: Penny (Patricia Hodge) 

Penny is that classic mother who loves her daughter way too much, yet has an odd way of showing it. Instead of allowing her child, Miranda, to find a job and a man that best suits her fancy, Penny continually finds herself meddling in her daughter’s business. In many instances, Penny’s filter doesn’t spring up fast enough to stop her from a judgmental joke or the over-the-top opinion lots of mothers would usually keep inside. Beneath it all, however, there is love. If there wasn’t, Penny certainly wouldn’t take as much of an interest in Miranda’s life as she does. 

Patricia Hodge - Miranda

“Victoria”: The Duchess of Kent (Catherine Flemming)

Oh, to be the mother of a Queen! For The Duchess of Kent, or “ma-ma” as Victoria would say, being a parental figure to the most powerful person in the U.K. certainly comes with its challenges. For one, the Duchess struggles with her inability to hold as large of an influence on Victoria as before she took the throne. Secondarily, the Duchess has trouble navigating between her own self-serving interests and being a loving, supportive parent in times of struggle for an 18-year-old Queen. Regardless of whatever drama might pop up, however, the Duchess’ motherly instincts do usually kick in when her daughter needs her most. 

“Downton Abbey”: Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith)

Now, the Dowager Countess is certainly one tough cookie of a mother. She has her beliefs and opinions, both of which she dutifully stands by. As the matriarch of the Crawley family, the Dowager’s presence looms large over everyone, even her powerful son Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham. When she is not staring someone down with a laser-focused glare of disapproval, there is always a super-powered zinger ready to leave many wondering what just hit them. Through it all, though, the Dowager is an admired member of the Crawley family and has more layers than a Royal wedding cake. 

Downton Abbey S5E4: Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham (MAGGIE SMITH)

“Doc Martin”: Louisa (Caroline Catz) 

God bless, Louisa. Not only is she in love with a complicated, often impersonal man like Martin, but also she’s brought a child into the world with him. While young James Henry is still too small to understand his father’s odd personality traits, Louisa often goes out of her way to ensure that he is brought up in a happy home and gets to have the best pirate birthdays possible. As a head master in the education industry, Louisa knows plenty about how to keep children moving in the right direction. Thus, it’s hard not to believe that James Henry won’t grow up with an amazing head on his shoulders.

Doc Martin Season 7

“Call the Midwife”: Shelagh Turner (Laura Main)

Although Shelagh was physically unable to conceive a child of her own, her marriage to Dr. Turner resulted in becoming a stepmother to Timothy and the adoptive parent of Angela. With a heart that’s even bigger than her spectacles, Shelagh’s training in the medical field has allowed her to have a level of compassion and a caring for children that not every mother has. Shelagh’s always willing to put her children first, which in many ways, makes her #1.

Call the Midwife - Stephen McGann

For more about “Miranda,” “Victoria,” “Downton Abbey,” “Doc Martin” and “Call the Midwife,” please visit their individual show pages on’s British section.

Looking for some motherly advice? If so, here is a look at some of the Dowager Countess’ greatest lines!

-Adam Grant

Vision NewsLetter

Sign up to get the latest news on your favorite shows exclusive content and more.