The Crown countdown is on! Netflix releases first official photographs of Meg Bellamy as Princess of Wales as she strolls hand-in-hand with the Prince in St Andrew’s ahead of series 6
- The Crown has released first official photographs of Kate and William in series
- Read more: Dominic West attends wrap party before being kicked out at 3.30am
Netflix has released the first official photographs of Meg Bellamy as the Princess of Wales in the sixth series of the drama today.
Series six, which is set to stream this year, will follow the royals into the 21st century, depicting Kate and William’s romance at St Andrew’s and closing with the king’s 2005 wedding to the then Camilla Parker Bowles.
Meg, 19, who was head girl at St Crispin’s School where she studied drama, stars alongside Ed McVey, who has been cast as her onscreen husband Prince William.
And today the first official snaps were shared of the couple in the show, with one image showing the pair walking hand-in-hand through the streets of the Scottish city.
Fans are eagerly awaiting the release of The Crown’s final series later this year, with the show already courting controversy as it plans to depict the tragic death of Princess Diana.
Netflix has released the first official photographs of Meg Bellamy as the Princess of Wales in the sixth series of the drama today
Series six, which is set to stream this year, will follow the royals into the 21st century, depicting Kate and William’s romance at St Andrew’s
In another photograph, Kate appears to be shown in a classroom setting, while in another Prince William could be seen apparently visiting one of the royal residences.
Both Meg and Ed shared the photographs on Instagram, alongside another snap as they posed out-of-character outside a cafe in the Scottish city.
A sign in the window of the cafe read: ‘Where Kate met Will.’
Meg has had little experience before landing the major role in the drama. She once took to the stage as the gruesome Miss Trunchbull in an amateur dramatics production and her tutor says even then she was a ‘star in the making’.
In the snap taken from the show the beauty donned a military style uniform with a large leather belt and a riding crop in hand.
Her brunette tresses are slicked back as she sports a unibrow and scowls at the audience deep in character.
Speaking to The Sunday Mirror teacher Claire compared Meg’s qualities to that of the Princess of Wales.
‘Meg is similar and ridiculously humble, she was very popular the type of student you had to encourage to come forward’.
She continued: ‘What’s amazing is that she took the initiative to do a self tape for The Crown and it’s become one of the stories you rarely hear of in the industry – a huge unknown plucked for a massive production. That reflects Meg.’
Claire said she believed the youngsters loving family would help keep her grounded.
‘They’re such a sweet, loving family. She will stay private, she’s a sensible person and will approach all this carefully. Her mum will be an amazing support as well.’
In another photograph, a young and studious Kate appears to be shown in a classroom setting (pictured)
In another photograph Prince William could be seen apparently visiting one of the royal residences
Another image which was shared by the actors on Instagram showed them visiting a cafe in St Andrew’s
The part of the future Queen Consort is Meg’s first major acting role and comes just months after she left her comprehensive school in Wokingham.
Taking to Instagram after the news was revealed last year, an excited Meg penned: ‘Pinch me please… So excited to announce that I will be playing Kate Middleton in Series 6 of Netflix’s ‘The Crown’.
‘It is such an honour to be joining the most incredible cast and crew, and I will strive to do Kate justice.’
The Mail on Sunday previously revealed that the former head girl Meg performed for the Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Kent, as a drama student in 2018.
Bellamy – known locally in Berkshire as Meg Smith – sang a medley from the musical Hamilton at a gala concert held by public school Wellington College to celebrate the opening of its performing arts centre.
Seven local schools were involved in the dance, drama and music recital in front of 900 guests at the centre in Berkshire, the county where the Duchess was raised.
Alongside fellow pupils from the St Crispin’s School in Wokingham – where she was head girl – Bellamy sang a ‘toe-tapping Hamilton medley’ dressed as one of the Schuyler Sisters, wealthy New York socialites.
Over the first five series of The Crown, the Netflix hit has become well known for bending facts to suit its narrative, and while some artistic license is inevitable, some critics have been outraged in its rewriting of history and relationships.
The final series of The Crown will cover the Royal Family’s history throughout the 1990s and into 2003, however it is not yet know which moments will be seen.
Notable events include her golden wedding anniversary in 1997, and the deaths of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother.
Young love: The Netflix series will depict Kate and William’s blossoming romance while they were students at the University of St Andrews (pictured in 2007)
The release of the photographs comes days after the filming for the final scenes of The Crown got underway in Rochester as Netflix recreated King Charles and Queen Camilla’s civil ceremony.
After months of callously depicting the death of the late Princess Diana, it was revealed this week that Netflix bosses have decided to end the forthcoming series of The Crown on a high by featuring the wedding of the King and Queen.
The royal couple married in a civil ceremony on April 9, 2005 at Windsor Guildhall which was followed by a blessing at St. George’s Chapel.
Last week, actress Olivia Williams, 54 – who plays Queen Camilla in the hit show – was pictured filming scenes opposite Dominic West, 53.
The star was pictured wearing an exact replica of the outfit the Queen for her civil ceremony 18 years ago.
Pivotal moments from The Crown so far…
King Edward VIII abdicates the throne for love
Edward fell in love with Wallis Simpson, a married woman, and planned to marry her after his coronation when her divorce had come through.
However they were denied the opportunity to marry and due to divorce being forbidden for the Royals and decided to move to France together.
Edward later returned to England to face his family for the funeral of George VI following his death and went on to form a close bond with Prince Charles.
Bigger picture: King Edward VIII abdicates the throne for love
Princess Margaret is also denied her happy ending
Princess Margaret, who is painted as the Royal rebel throughout the first and second seasons, hoped to step outside tradition and marry divorcee Peter Townsend.
However growing public chatter over the illicit relationship begins to overshadow Elizabeth’s post coronation fame.
Margaret makes her intentions to marry Peter clear to Queen Elizabeth II and she asks her to wait until she is 25 to tie the knot with her love.
However when her 25th birthday does roll around the Queen has to go back on her word due to pressure from the Crown, and tells Margaret that she cannot grant her permission to marry Peter.
Devastated: Princess Margaret is denied her happy ending with Peter Townsend
Winston Churchill’s rise and fall
The first and second seasons depicted the Queen’s relationship with the Prime Minister of the time, Winston Churchill.
Following his successful leadership during the Second World War, Winston rises to power again for a second time during Elizabeth’s reign.
The Crown follows Winston’s journey as he adjusts to answering to a woman in power and his deteriorating health.
Royal marriage is rocked Elizabeth’s new role
The power struggle in the relationship is clear to see as Elizabeth’s role as the Queen takes priority over her marriage, while Prince Philip isn’t used to taking a backseat.
The Crown also hints at infidelity in their relationship as Elizabeth finds a picture of Russian ballerina Galina Ulanova among his possessions, before sending him off on a five-month tour on the Royal yacht.
The tension comes to a head during the premiere for season two when the Royal couple argue on board the HMY Britannia as they strive to find a resolution to their problems, due to divorce not being an option for a monarch.
Trouble in paradise: Royal marriage is rocked Elizabeth’s new role
Elizabeth’s journey to accepting the Crown
The start of the series shows a more wary and shy Elizabeth, compared to the formidable monarch she has grown into.
One of the key moments in the first series is her journey to accepting the Crown, after having to reconfigure all of the relationships in her life.
The series shows the Queen growing in confidence as she finds herself on a path of self-discovery.
The Queen visits Aberfan
Aberfan: After reflecting on her decision, she eventually visited alongside her husband and it is claimed her delayed response remains one of her greatest regrets
Episode three of the third season focuses on the Aberfan disaster which killed 144 people, including 116 childrne, after a colliery spoil tip collapsed over a school in a Welsh village.
The Queen did not immediately visit the disaster site, citing that she did not want to distract away from the tragedy with her presence.
However after reflecting on her decision, she eventually visited alongside her husband and it is claimed her delayed response remains one of her greatest regrets.
The Royal Family documentary
Inside the life: In a bid to give the public a better understanding of the Royal family they let a camera crew into their lives for 18 months
In a bid to give the public a better understanding of the Royal family they let a camera crew into their lives for 18 months.
The Crown depicts the whole thing as a disaster with the family reportedly banning the programme from ever being aired again.
However in actuality, the documentary was well-received and had sky high viewing figures.
Prince Charles valuable time in Wales
Touching: Prince Charles valuable time in Wales
After receiving backlash for the title ‘Prince of Wales’, despite not being a citizen or speaking the language, Prince Charles was sent to Aberystwyth University to learn the language.
Charles, who was 20 at the time, finished the trip with an elaborate investiture to pledge his allegiance to the Queen in Welsh.
However he asked to tweak the speech to add in his own voice, promising the Welsh residents that they wouldn’t be forgotten by England again.
Princess Margaret wows at the White House
She impressed! After being sent on a Royal tour of the U.S. in place of her sister, Margaret was invited to dinner at the White House by President Lyndon B. Johnson
After being sent on a Royal tour of the U.S. in place of her sister, Margaret was invited to dinner at the White House by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The whole night appeared a huge success thanks to Margaret’s quick-wit and charm, with President Johnson seemingly lapping it up.
However across the pond Margaret’s success appeared to worry the Queen as she seemed concerned she was being outshone by her sibling.
It is understood Charles and Camilla’s nuptials will be portrayed in a positive way, with some working on the show hoping it will mean the public will be left with a ‘warm and happy’ feeling rather than outraged over how Princess Diana’s death, at the age of 36, was depicted.
A source close to Netflix told the Mail last week: ‘For some months it has felt like the show has been goading the public by ghoulishly telling the story of Diana’s death in a heartless way, therefore causing upset to Princes William and Harry needlessly.
‘So the decision to end it so nicely, Netflix hope, will change the perception that they want to be callous, they hope it will remove the bad taste from viewers’ mouths.
‘Charles and Camilla’s wedding will be a true celebration and a really happy moment in the history of the monarchy. It also fits nicely into the King’s Coronation year.
‘But there are some staff working on the programme who see this all as a cynical move to protect Netflix from leaving its audience really upset at retelling Diana’s tragic death.’
Imelda Staunton will reprise her role as Queen Elizabeth II, with Jonathan Pryce playing her husband Prince Philip.
Elizabeth Debicki will once again appear as Princess Diana in the build-up to her death, while Dominic West plays Prince Charles.
Series five of The Crown was subject to plenty of criticism due to the touchy topic of Charles and his marriage to Diana, following its release on Netflix in November.
Many argued that filming scenes leading up to Princess Diana’s death in Paris were insensitive – as well as the series going ahead with its launch not long after the Queen’s death in September last year.
Focusing heavily on the fallout between Princess Diana, played by Debicki and King Charles (then Prince of Wales) as portrayed by West, the new series showcased a number of low points for the royals.
Among them were Charles and Diana’s marriage breakdown, the late royal’s controversial Panorama interview and the notorious ‘tampongate’ phone call between the King and Queen Consort, then Camilla.
Acting royalty Dame Judi Dench, who is close to King Charles and Camilla, has accused the programme of being ‘crude and hurtful’.
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