Edward, Villy and Louise

The middle Cazalet son with his wife and daughter.

Edward (Pip Torrens)

Handsome Edward is the middle Cazalet brother. For him, every day is his birthday and to be enjoyed, often with a woman other than his wife, Villy. Having fought bravely in WW1, Edward returned a hero, happy to take up his position in the family firm, which allows him a lot of freedom to conduct his affairs. He has a longstanding relationship with Diana, whom he loves, but his constant dilemma is whether he could bring himself to leave his family. His bravery in battle isn’t matched on the home front, where he tends to be weak and in thrall to his appetites, which has a particularly disastrous effect on his daughter, Louise. Over the course of the series, Edward begins to realise that his actions have consequences for all involved, including himself.

Villy (Ruth Gemmell)

Villy is the daughter of Lady Rydal and has been brought up to do what is expected of her – to marry, have children and look after them. She feels lucky to have married someone as handsome and nice as Edward, but somehow life has disappointed her. She has an aversion to the sexual side of their marriage, so much ends up being merely duty for her. She gladly relinquished her career with the Royal Ballet in order to marry, but as her life goes on she comes to regret it more and more and to feel that her life could have been so much more than this. She finds motherhood trying at times and her relationship with her daughter, Louise, is often strained. Villy believes that one must muck in and do one’s duty, so when others behave differently it leaves her bewildered and disappointed.

Louise (Alix Wilton Regan)

Louise is the eldest of the three Cazalet cousins. She is often superior to her younger cousins, Polly and Clary and likes to tell them what to do. She has a gift for acting and adores Shakespeare and putting on plays; not least because she likes people looking at her. Louise’s precocious exterior masks a young woman who is battling with many conflicting emotions. She has a difficult relationship with her mother, who seems cold towards her and suffers dreadfully from her father’s actions during the course of the series.