Granted the whole of England had been aware of the shocking spoilers from 'Downton Abbey's' season 3 finale since Christmas 2012, American audiences are still reeling from the twists that took away two major characters from the series. As 'Downton Abbey' season 4 prepares to go before cameras, the Masterpiece production naturally has begun to beef up its regular cast a bit, so who's the first new regular of the season? Hint: you've already met her!

'Downton Abbey' spoilers beware, but it's safe to say the famed estate will need a few more series regulars to fill its halls now that Dan Stevens (Matthew Crawley) and Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil) have gone to that big Abbey in the sky. Thankfully, fans won't have to look far as Entertainment Weekly has announced that Violet’s rebellious great niece Rose (Lily James) has been upgraded to series regular for the imminent fourth year.

Naturally, Rose's more modern sensibilities will come to clash with the culture of 'Downton Abbey,' though producer Gareth Neame assured fans that the character wouldn't upset the balance of the series

We’re entering a more modern age, the post-war into the 1920s and all things that came from that, a slightly freer world and women having more freedom...This is an ensemble show that has a soapy quality to the storytelling and writing. We’ve got about 23 main cast members [and] a big part of the energy of the show is new characters coming in and old characters exiting. If you always had the same people and there was never any change, you’d miss out on one of the main ways that you keep these things fresh.

'Downton Abbey' season 4 will go before cameras in the near future, likely with a new love interest in mind for Lady Mary, but it remains to be seen if PBS will be able to negotiate a deal with Masterpiece to shorten the length between UK and US airings of the season.

What say you? Were you surprised by the 'Downton Abbey' season 3 deaths? What would you like to see from the fourth series?