Actors Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham), Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Grantham), Jim Carter (Mr. Carson), Joanne Froggatt (Anna), Rob James-Collier (Thomas), and Sophie McShera (Daisy) mingled with guests and participated in a Q&A about the upcoming season -- sorry fans, no spoilers to share.

British Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott was host of the evening and he was joined by several of D.C.'s bold-faced names, including PBS' Rebecca Eaton, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen SebeliusKathleen SebeliusOPINION | 5 big ideas to halt America's opioid epidemic Aligning clinical and community resources improves health Sebelius on GOP healthcare plan: 'I'm not sure what the goal is here' MORE, Chief of Protocol of the United States Capricia Marshall, CBS' Bob Schieffer, PBS' Gwen Iffil, NBC's Betsy Fischer and husband Jonathan Martin of Politico, Washington Post's Dan Balz, NBC's Chuck Todd, and NBC's Andrea Mitchell and husband Alan Greenspan, former chairman of the Federal Reserve.Lady Westmacott and Abmassador Westmacott with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius

The new season of "Downton Abbey" begins on PBS on Jan. 6.

Photos by Tony Powell, courtesy of the British Embassy