Hugh Bonneville: Who is his rumoured girlfriend, Claire Rankin?

Hugh Bonneville split from his wife, Lulu Williams, a few months ago. He seems to have already found love again...

Hugh Bonneville rumoured new girlfriend Claire Rankin actress split wife
© David M. Benett / Getty Images
Hugh Bonneville rumoured new girlfriend Claire Rankin actress split wife

2023 was a tough year for some couples. Indeed, many celebrities announced their separation, or their divorce, and sometimes after decades spent together. Such was the case for Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville. In October 2023, a spokesperson revealed he had split from his wife, Lulu Williams, after 25 years together. His rumoured new girlfriend is making headlines, and here is all you should know about her.

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Hugh Bonneville split from his wife in 2023

In September 2023, Hugh Bonneville attended his Downton Abbey co-star Michelle Dockery's wedding to Jasper Waller-Bridge. Astute fans instantly noticed the actor was alone, and did not bring his wife Lulu. This was unusual, as the pair usually went everywhere together, whether to red carpets or film sets. He also wasn't wearing his wedding ring.

After much speculation, a spokesperson for the actor admitted that the couple had decided to part ways after 25 years of marriage, and raising their 22-year-old son. Hugh Bonneville was seen smiling and having fun at the wedding, while a source told TheSun that Lulu was seen breaking down as she told her friends about the split, which allegedly 'came out of the blue' for her.

A few months later, it was reported that Bonneville was already seeing someone else.

Who is Claire Rankin?

First, let's make it clear that neither Hugh Bonneville nor Claire Rankin have made any statement regarding their relationship so far. However, the pair have been seen going on dates in London and the Downton Abbey star even brought the actress to an event in Buckingham Palace where she reportedly met Queen Camilla, along with other actors from the famous series. The actress also shared some snaps of her recent trip to London on her social media, however Hugh Bonneville did not appear in any of them. So, who is Claire Rankin?

The Canadian actress was born and raised on Prince Edward Island, and she began acting in the 1990s, starting with several Shakespeare plays and some TV shows. The 53-year-old actress is also a professional dancer, and she was married to fellow actor Josh Randall for thirteen years, from 2000 to 2013. Her ex-husband starred alongside Hugh Bonneville in US sitcom Courting Alex, nearly two decades ago. A source who saw the alleged couple told the Daily Mail:

Hugh and Claire looked so happy together, they couldn't stop smiling. They looked like any other couple and seemed to be really enjoying each other's company.

Hugh Bonneville's new series has fans divided

It seems like Bonneville has been thriving in 2024 as along with a blossoming relationship, he's also starring in a new series from Steven Moffat.

The series called Douglas is Cancelled premiered last week, and it left fans divided. The 4-part series follows a broadcaster called Douglas Bellowes, whose career is endangered when a sexist comment he made at a wedding gets leaked online. The comedy-drama focuses on cancel culture, and Hugh Bonneville stars opposite Doctor Who's Karen Gillian. Some viewers complained that the pace of the first episode was 'slow' so far, but they are mostly willing to give it a chance. One comment read:

So far the first episode has been slow and isn't encouraging me to watch the next one. Or am I being impatient and need to give it more of a chance?

Other viewers who have seen the whole series have praised its star-studded cast and claim the third episode is the highlight of the series. One person wrote:

#DouglasIsCancelled from @ITV is a damn good mini-series, I just had to binge the entire thing. Hugh, Karen and Alex give absolutely stand-out performances. Episode three was the best episode personally.

Read more:

Downton Abbey supposedly set to return for a seventh season

Peter Phillips: Princess Anne's son spotted with new girlfriend Harriet Sperling

Sources used:

The Sun: HUGH LOVE SPLIT Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville splits from wife of 25 years – after previously calling her his ‘bedrock’ & ‘anchor’

Daily Mail: Who is Hugh Bonneville's new girlfriend Claire Rankin? Meet Downton Abbey star's Canadian love interest as he moves on just months after split from ex-wife Lulu Williams

Hello!: Douglas Is Cancelled viewers very divided over new drama starring Hugh Bonneville – here's why

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