‘The Crown’: First Look Season 6 Photos Reveal Will and Kate as Young Lovers

The Crown

Meg Bellamy as Kate Middleton and Ed McVey as Prince William in Season 6 of 'The Crown'. Photo: Netflix

Netflix on Thursday released the first look at the sixth season of The Crown. And, of course, it is all about William and Kate.

The casting is inspired: these first photos of the young lovers at St. Andrews showcase actors whose looks and mannerisms mirror the royal couple in their early university days. Ed McVey, 23, is a stage actor who graduated from drama school in 2021; his hair flip and casual way of slipping a hand into his jeans pocket is perfect Wills. As for Kate, newcomer Meg Bellamy, 19, was discovered via an audition tape she submitted per a casting call on social media. A true star is born moment for the modern age!

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Ed McVey is almost a spitting image of a young Prince William in the sixth season of The Crown. Photo: Netflix
The Crown
Meg Bellamy, who plays Kate Middleton, was discovered via an audition tape she submitted per a casting call on social media. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix


Set at the turn of the Millennium, the sixth and final season of The Crown brings back all the familiar faces in senior royal roles from season five: Imelda Staunton as the Queen; Jonathon Pryce as Prince Philip; Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret; Dominic West as Prince Charles; Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker-Bowles; and Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana. On that note, fans are braced for the news that the series will likely cover Diana’s death.

The new cast members Bellamy and McVey are stepping into central roles as William entered his age of majority and the complete ban on press coverage while he was at prep school expired. The paparazzi didn’t follow the then-second-in-line to the throne around the campus, but his forays into London were much more public than during the reprieve after his mother’s death.

Filming of the young couple in love took place in St. Andrew’s Scotland, at real-life locations, such as Northpoint Café, which makes much of the fact that it is the place William actually met Kate during freshman year. 


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Ed McVey and Meg Bellamy as William and Kate in season six of The Crown. Here, they are in front of Northpoint Café, where they first met during their freshman year.   Photo: Courtesy of Netlfix


The first Netflix official photos show McVey wearing a classic William navy crew neck with an early aughts preppy revival shirtsleeve underneath. For her part as Kate, Bellamy positively blossoms as the wide-eyed brunette in a poof-sleeved sweater and jeans. One wonders if Kate’s famous brown Penelope Chilvers boots — a pair she has re-worn since university, and which have come to symbolize her sleight-of-hand frugal nature even while she wears hundreds of thousands dollars worth of designer gear each year — will make an appearance.

It is very Elizabeth, and very Charles, and especially very Anne of Kate to engage in re-wearing. That, along with the mix of high and low priced clothing that she is celebrated for, is the thing that will make us buy into the actress playing Kate. The Royal Family is nothing if not a costume party, and The Crown is the ultimate fantasy version of that party.

McVey and Bellamy  are outfitted in classic Will and Kate fashion in the first look photos of the sixth season of The Crown. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix


This sixth season has long been known to be the final season of The Crown, which means we will not be brought up to modern day intrigues — the arrival of Meghan Markle on the scene, or the twin sorrows of the deaths of Prince Philip then Queen Elizabeth II, or the tawdry affairs of Prince Andrew.

Somehow, 20 years ago feels vintage enough. Looking back at these pictures, the halcyon years of young and in love William and Kate still fulfill the historical fiction mandate of the series. It is all very familiar, but the period between Diana’s death and the accession of King Charles was very long.

Personally, I’m glad they are stopping short of the heightened reality of the past few years of muckraking and tell-all books and documentaries. The series, which began with such gravitas as young Elizabeth took the throne 70 years ago, works best with a Vaseline lens. Going too much further into the present than setting up the context of the next generation of heirs would be to descend into parody. We have enough of that in the present.

Season six of The Crown is expected to premiere later this year.