Ahead of the sixth and final season of its hit royal drama “The Crown,” Netflix has offered fans a first peek at the actors who will be playing Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Images released by the streaming giant on Thursday show TV newcomers Ed McVey and Meg Bellamy as the future Prince and Princess of Wales in the forthcoming episodes, which are expected to depict the early days of their courtship as students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
One image shows the pair casually dressed and holding hands as they stroll outdoors. The other images shared show Kate in a classroom, and William sitting on a sofa, wearing a blazer and tie.
The popular drama is expected to enter a new decade and delve into the royal couple’s romance when Season 6 airs later this year. While William has appeared in the show as a child, the forthcoming season will depict him as an adult for the first time.
In addition to the set images, Netflix also shared a number of behind-the-scenes photos of McVey and Bellamy filming in Scotland, including one off-duty shot of the pair outside Northpoint Café in St. Andrews, where William and Kate are said to have met for the first time.
McVey and Bellamy are joining a cast that also includes Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth II, Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, Dominic West as Prince Charles, Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana, and Luther Ford as the teenage Prince Harry.
Created by Peter Morgan, “The Crown” has become one of Netflix’s most successful original series since its premiere in 2016. However, the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning show has come under intense scrutiny in recent months, with some viewers and prominent figures complaining about its use of artistic license.
Last year, Netflix defended “The Crown” as a “fictional dramatization,” after former British Prime Minister John Major slammed its depictions of his time in office as “damaging and malicious fiction.”
In October, Oscar-winning actress Judi Dench claimed in a letter published in the UK’s Times newspaper, that “the closer the drama comes to our present times, the more freely it seems willing to blur the lines between historical accuracy and crude sensationalism.”
Netflix has yet to announce a premiere date for Season 6 of “The Crown.”