AceShowbiz - Michelle Dockery is engaged again, six years after the devastating loss of her fiance John Dineen. The actress is set to marry Jasper Waller-Bridge, the younger brother of "Fleabag" creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
The 40-year-old star, who is best known for her portrayal of Lady Mary Crawley on the period drama series "Downton Abbey", made the announcement in The Times newspaper on Thursday, January 20. "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," read the announcement.
After the engagement news broke, Michelle was seen flaunting her engagement ring during an afternoon stroll with her friends in south London. The "Good Behavior" star wrapped up in a cream-colored jacket, blue jeans and black boots.
Meanwhile, Jasper's father has expressed his excitement about the pair's upcoming official union. "We could not be more delighted!" he told Daily Mail. "We have had a very happy time getting to know Michelle over the last few years and she's an absolutely delightful person. We couldn't be happier for them both."
Michelle's soon-to-be father-in-law gushed about her, "Michelle will be a wonderful addition to the family and we are certain that she and Jasper are going to have a very joyful marriage and life together."
Michelle and Jasper, who is six years younger than her, have been dating since 2019 after they met through mutual friends. They first appeared together as a couple at the Rome Film Festival shortly after they struck up the romance.
A source told Daily Mail of their relationship at the time, "It was all taken slowly and in a considered manner but they are really enjoying being together. Michelle has been travelling a lot to promote the 'Downton' movie but they have been in constant contact..."
The source added, "Their friends and families are very happy for them. It is just so lovely." The age gap doesn't seem to be a problem since the beginning as the source claimed, "Jasper is a bit younger than Michelle but he has dated other older women in the past and it appears to be working for both of them. She remains a down-to-earth woman, dating an A-lister has never been her thing."
Michelle was previously engaged to John Dineen, whom she dated since 2013. They were engaged in 2015 before he died from a rare form of cancer in December of the same year. "I refer to myself as a widow, yes. We were engaged, and married at heart, and so I do consider myself a widow," she said after her fiance's death. "That's the first time I've said that, and it's a bit of a relief to say so."
In 2017, two years after John's passing, she opened up about her feelings, "I don't have the vocabulary to describe what it felt like. And what it still feels like. It is … sorry, give me a minute. I've never been more committed to anything in my life than to him."
"So at the time everything just shut down," she further shared. "Work, everything. Work didn't matter. You suddenly become an [oncological] expert. This stuff becomes your world, and that of course was my priority."