They then started the two-by-two procession into the dining room,
where the butler held the seating chart and footmen
were present to push in chairs.
~ Description of dinner seating at Downton Abbey,
Providence Journal Blog
Although you might have your preferences of who you'd like to sit next to at a Downton Abbey dinner, the seating chart will be in the hands of the butler. Arranged seating is the norm at very formal dinners, where you will find your name neatly written, often in calligraphy on a little card above the place setting. At Downton Abbey, the White House or Buckingham Palace you should also expect to escort or be escorted into the dining room where dinner will be served elegantly by a wait staff dressed in formal attire. Nothing much has changed over the years.