The Earl, as well as Mary, wants to hold on to the old order. But it is slipping away from it. Sybil married the servant and Edith will be marrying a cripple a fourth of a century older than she. And because of a bad investment, The Earl may not be able to afford to keep Downton Abbey in the family.
His only hope is Matthew who has money but, ironically, because he is a creature of the old order and honour doesn't want to accept it. Yet, that money could maintain the world as it had been.
Cora's mother The American showed that everything changes and the British better get used to it. Will they?
If The Earl is unable to change he will wind up an embittered man, losing his sense of style and grace.