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‘The Crown’ Season 6: I’m Conflicted About the First Images of William and Kate

Kate and William walk arm in arm with grey brick buildings in the background.

Season 6 of Netflix’s The Crown is likely to come out later this year, and on Thursday, Netflix released three production stills of its newest cast members: Ed McVey as Prince William, and Meg Bellamy as Kate Middleton.

One image shows William and Kate walking hand in hand. Another is a close-up of Kate looking up at someone, and a third shows William sitting in the palace.

Kate Middleton (Meg Bellamy) smiles up at someone off camera.
Prince William (Ed McVey) sits with his hands clasped on a sofa.

According to an official plot synopsis released by Netflix, season 6 will tell the story of William and Kate’s romance:

As The Crown enters a new decade, Prince William starts at University in St Andrew’s, determined to lead as normal a life as possible while he still can. Also beginning life as a University student, is Kate Middleton from Berkshire. As the pair meet for the first time on campus, a new romance and a new future for The Crown begins.

I’ve been a fan of The Crown ever since season 1, which began with Princess Elizabeth’s marriage to Prince Phillip in 1947. I’ve faithfully followed the series as it explored the lives of the British monarchy through Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne, her dealings with various prime ministers, and the scandal of Diana and Charles’s divorce. I’ve known for years that the royals themselves don’t approve of the show, but I’ve enjoyed it anyway. (After all, they’re way richer and more powerful than me.)

Now, though, I’m finally starting to feel a bit conflicted.

Just a few months ago, Netflix aired Harry and Meghan, the documentary about the hate campaign waged against Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. The harassment, smear campaigns, and death threats grew so overwhelming that Harry and Meghan eventually gave up their titles and moved to the U.S., settling near Santa Barbara, CA.

The documentary reveals that Harry and William had a particularly ugly falling out when Harry stood up for his wife. In one scene, Harry receives a text from William so hurtful that Meghan needs to comfort him afterwards.

More recently, Harry released a memoir in which he reveals numerous fights and rivalries with William. Meanwhile, the rest of the British royal family has doubled down on their racism, with Queen Camilla throwing a Christmas party and inviting two public figures involved in the hate campaign against Meghan.

The Crown is engrossing when it dramatizes decades-old events that have historical interest. Will we enjoy watching portrayals of William and Kate’s fairy tale romance, though, as the real William’s feud with Harry continues to unfold in real time? I’m sure I won’t be the only viewer with current events in the back of my mind. Maybe I’ll finally have to contend with the fact that I’m watching the lives of real people, and not figures from a fairy tale.

(featured image: Netflix)

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Julia Glassman (she/they) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at