Inside life of the actress playing Kate Middleton in The Crown

How does Meg match up to being a Middleton? From growing up in the Home Counties to starring in school plays – the VERY striking similarities between actress, 19, portraying Kate in The Crown and the future Queen

  • Meg Bellamy, 19, grew up just 22 miles from Kate’s childhood home in Berkshire
  • Read more: Meg Bellamy transforms into Kate Middleton for The Crown 

She’s had her big break in the sixth series of Netflix sensation The Crown playing the Princess of Wales – but what is 19-year-old Meg Bellamy’s life like off-screen?

The young actress, known as Meg Smith to her friends and loved ones, was pictured on set of the royal drama filming scenes depicting Kate Middleton’s days at St Andrew’s University, and fans were struck by her striking resemblance to the Princess.

Meg’s rise is set to be meteoric after she was plucked from obscurity to play the Princess of Wales when she submitted a self-taped audition to the makers of the show after seeing the role advertised on social media. 

Announcing the casting on Instagram last September, she wrote: ‘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.’  

And it seems like the actress will be able to draw on her own life experience for the role, with some striking similarities between her and the royal.  

Both Home Counties girls, Meg grew up just 22 miles away from Kate’s childhood home in Berkshire. 

At school, it seems both the Princess of Wales and the actress playing her were model pupils. Each made a strong impression on their teachers as kind and humble personalities with a thirst for learning, natural leadership skills and a passion for theatre.

Meg has also found love in her younger years – just as the Princess did with Prince William.

Here, FEMAIL reveals how the lives of Kate Middleton and her onscreen doppelgänger really compare…

Meg Bellamy, 19 (pictured left on set) has been enlisted to play the Princess of Wales in The Crown series six as the courtship of Prince William and Kate Middleton is portrayed



The Princess of Wales, now 41, was born on 9 January 1982 to Carole and Michael Middleton. After a stint living in Jordan for her father’s job as a British Airways manager, Kate moved to Berkshire with her family and lived in Bucklebury Manor.

Speaking on Giovanna Fletcher’s Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast in 2020, the mother-of-three revealed: ‘I had a very happy childhood.

‘It was great fun and I’m very lucky I come from a very strong family. My parents were hugely dedicated.’

Speaking about her time in Jordan, where she attended Assahera nursery school in Amman, she told Giovanna: ‘I really appreciate now as a parent how much they sacrificed for us.

‘They came to every sports match, they’d be the ones on the sideline shouting, and we’d always have our family holidays together.’

The family lived in a two-storey rented villa, close to a park and the nursery where Kate went.

Kate attended nursery with around twelve other children aged between three and five, who all hailed from a variety of countries, including Britain, Jordan, Japan, and America.

The children learned both English and Arabic, and celebrated Christmas and Ramadan each year.

Following their time in Jordan, the Middletons returned to Berkshire where Carole and Mike still live in Bucklebury. 

As the Princess of Wales launches her new early childhood campaign which aims to ‘give generations of children the best start in life’ FEMAIL looks back over her childhood. Kate is pictured here as a child 


Meg was raised in Wokingham, Berkshire, which is just 22 miles from where Kate grew up.

The young actress landed her role as Kate Middleton in The Crown just weeks after she left her secondary school, St Crispin’s, where she had studied.

Wokingham is a market town in the county of Berkshire, situated between Reading and Bracknell. 

To date, Wokingham has produced some other famous faces, to which Meg will no doubt be added to the list.

Among the recognisable names from the market town is Nicholas Hoult, who made his big break as a child star in About a Boy before going on to star in E4 teen drama Skins.

He is now a household name and a familiar face in Hollywood, recently starring alongside stalwart Ralph Fiennes in The Menu. 

Meg Bellamy grew up in the market town of Wokingham, Berkshire, just 22 miles from where the Princess of Wales grew up



The Princess of Wales attended £16,950-a-year St Andrew’s prep school in Pangbourne, Berkshire, from 1986 to 1995.

Something of a star pupil, the future royal thrived at St Andrew’s Prep, where she won awards for both sport and music. 

She went on to secondary at all-girls boarding school Downe House – however Kate was only a day student at the school and did not board.

After just two terms at the £28,000-a-year school, the Princess of Wales moved to independent boarding school Marlborough College in Wiltshire. She has previously revealed that the move was down to her being picked on by other girls.

As a day girl, not a boarder, she was in the minority in the cliquey environment of a girls’ school, it is understood.

And former pupils say her reticent manner and gangly appearance made her a sitting duck for more assertive classmates.

However, once she made the move to mixed school Marlborough House, where she was a boarder, Kate excelled academically.

She left with three A Levels: an A in mathematics, an A in art and a B in English.

The bright student went on to study art history at the prestigious University of St Andrews, where she famously met Prince William. 

Kate attended St Andrew’s Prep school in Berkshire from 1986, when her family returned to the UK, until 1995 


Compared to the Princess of Wales’s expensive education, Meg’s academic background is a little bit more humble.

She attended St Crispin’s comprehensive secondary school in Wokingham, a mixed school which includes a Sixth Form.

An introduction on the school’s website written by headteacher Andy Hinchcliffe describes St Crispin’s as ‘a school that offers students of all abilities and interests the opportunity to be the best they can be’.

He writes: ‘We have a strong focus on the basics: excellent learning and teaching, a safe disciplined environment and an ethos which promotes the highest aspirations.’

The young actress finished her studies at St Crispin’s last summer, just a few months before being cast as the Princess of Wales in The Crown.

It is not clear exactly which subjects she studied, however it has been reported that the young thespian achieved hugely impressive A* in drama.

While this exceeds Kate’s A Level grades, it should be noted that the A* grade for A Levels was introduced in 2010, after the Princess of Wales finished school.

During her time at St Crispin’s, Meg became head girl, and appeared in a promotional video for the school which is still on their website today.

In the video, the future star of The Crown speaks about her role as leader of the school’s Welfare Committee, which is described as overseeing the school’s work on its pupils’ mental and physical health as well as their safety.

Meg says: ‘St Crispin’s has given me all the skills that I need to be prepared and engaged in the world that I wish to enter.’

She adds: ‘My aspiration is to go into acting and auditioning for drama school would by my ideal first step towards this.’

The young actress goes on to credit her school with setting her on the right path towards achieving her goals.

Just a few years ago Meg appeared in a video in her capacity as head girl for St Crispin’s school in Wokingham, in which she spoke of wanting to pursue acting 



Early on in her school life, the Princess of Wales showed a flair for sport and activity, taking an interest in exercise while she was still at primary school. 

During her time at St Andrew’s Prep Kate turned her hand to sports and showed an interest in theatre, taking on the role of Eliza Doolittle aged 11, in the school’s production of My Fair Lady. 

There was also the Under 12/13 rounders team for which Kate – listed under her full name Catherine Middleton – was named the highest scorer of the season.

She was also a keen swimmer and athlete. On sports day she won the Under 12/13 200m in 31.24 seconds and set records in both the long jump and high jump of 4.14metres and 1.39 metres respectively.

On prize giving day, her prowess was rewarded with the Calvert Cup for rounders and the Leslie Cup for outstanding overall sporting achievement for a girl.

Kate was also captain of the school’s hockey team, in which she was said to be a star athlete, and a keen tennis player.

In the past few years, the Princess of Wales has reunited with two of her teachers from St Andrew’s; Denise Evans-Allford was the Duchess’ PE teacher, while Kevin Allford taught her French and German.

Mr Allford told the Press Association that Kate was a ‘hard worker and very conscientious.’

He added: ‘Obviously she was the same in sport. She was a tremendous athlete and swimmer. I used to be in charge of swimming and she was very, very good, as her sister was.’

Kate (front row, L) is pictured in a rounders team photo during her time as a pupil at St Andrew’s School in Pangbourne


Unsurprisingly, Meg Bellamy’s biggest passion at school was theatre, and she starred in the school’s production of Matilda as Roald Dahl’s villain headteacher Miss Trunchbull.

In a snap taken from the show the beauty dons 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, her 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 revealed.

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.’

Her theatrical career even has a royal connection, as she once performed in a production of the musical Hamilton for the late Queen Elizabeth’s cousin, the Duke of Kent.

The Mail on Sunday revealed that Meg sang a medley from the production while dressed as one of the Schuyler Sisters, wealthy New York socialites, at a gala concert held by public school Wellington College to celebrate the opening of its performing arts centre.  

Scary stuff: 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

Meg Bellamy performs in the St. Crispin’s Hamilton performance at Wellington College 21 September 2018



The Princess of Wales’s love story with Prince William began as a friendship, when Kate was dating another St Andrew’s student, Rupert Finch and William was in a relationship with his first love, Carley Massy-Birch.

However, when their relationships ended, Kate and William began to realise the spark between them was something more than friendship.

The thing that changed it all was a charity fashion show in which Kate donned a sexy sheer dress, which made the young prince realise his feelings for her were more than just platonic. 

When William and Kate returned for their second year of university, the pair and two pals opted to live off campus in a quaint two-storey home in the city.

They moved into 13A Hope Street, which cost just £100 per week each, with housemates Etonian Fergus Boyd and Olivia Bleasdale.

The Prince and Princess of Wales met at St Andrews University and were friends before pursuing a romantic relationship. Pictured: The couple at their graduation

Prince William is thought to have had his head turned by Kate after she appeared in a sheer dress at a charity fashion show at the university

The modest home included a small kitchen, where William is said to have tried to impress Kate with his culinary skills.

After the couple fell in love at university, all seemed well in their relationship, however it wasn’t without a few bumps in the road.

They briefly split in 2007, with Kate even reportedly dating shipping heir Henry Ropner during their break.

Looking back on their time apart after the couple had announced their engagement, William said: ‘We were both very young, it was at university and we were both finding ourselves and being different characters and stuff.

‘It was very much trying to find our own way and we were growing up.’

They married in 2011 with the eyes of the world upon them as they said their vows at Westminster Abbey, and now have three children: Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, seven and Prince Louis, four.


While Meg keeps her home life relatively private, she appears to have an exceptionally proud boyfriend who exclaimed his excitement for her when she was first cast in The Crown.

Connor Dutton, who describes himself as a filmmaker and an acrobat in his Instagram bio, uploaded a gushing post about Meg after her role as Kate was announced.

Posting a candid photo of Meg drinking a cup of coffee, he wrote: ‘I’m thrilled to share with you that my gorgeously talented girlfriend will be playing Kate Middleton in Series 6 of Netflix’s The Crown. 

‘I’m so proud of you baby.’

Meg replied to the post with a comment which read: ‘I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.’

Connor’s Instagram account is new, with only three posts including a selfie taken on a beach with a stunning backdrop.

The most recent snap on his profile is a picture of himself celebrating Christmas 2022, in a photo of himself wearing a cable-knit jumper and tartan pyjama bottoms while getting comfy on the sofa with a glass of bubbly in his hand.

It has been reported that in his younger years, Connor worked at Legoland theme park in Windsor. However, his job role there has not been confirmed.

Connor Dutton (pictured) is dating Meg Bellamy and posted a congratulatory post on Instagram after she landed her role as Kate



Although Kate Middleton is now a working member of the royal family, she gained a strong work ethic through having several jobs before she married Prince William.

Shortly after finishing university, she carried out what has been described as ‘back-breaking work’ as a deckhand in Southampton at the Ocean Village Marina for approximately four months.

However, despite being dedicated to the work, it wasn’t quite what she wanted to go into and, at the age of 24, the Princess of Wales landed a job as an accessories buyer at high-end women’s fashion store Jigsaw.

Speaking to confirm the appointment, a Jigsaw spokesperson said at the time: ‘We can confirm that Kate joined our staff two or three weeks ago as an accessory buyer for Jigsaw and Jigsaw Junior. We can’t comment any further.’

The Princess of Wales worked as an accessories buyer for Jigsaw after graduating from university. Pictured at the Jigsaw fashion show in 2007

According to reports, the future Queen had already helped out the brand at a fashion shoot, where she ran errands, fetching cups of tea and snacks.

When Kate was hired by Jigsaw, it was owned by fashion tycoons John and Belle Robinson – close family friends of the Middleton’s.

At the time, the appointment was described as a major coup for Jigsaw, having the woman who was expected to marry the future king among its staff.

Although she left the brand in 2007, to go and work for her family business Party Pieces, the Princess of Wales still appears to be a fan, and has been spotted wearing items of its clothing in recent years.


Although her first official acting role on screen is in series six of The Crown, Meg also worked as a character performer at Legoland Windsor

Following the announcement that Meg had been cast in series six of The Crown, Connor praised his girlfriend

After leaving school, Meg’s first official job in acting has been her role as Kate Middleton in The Crown, which gets her resume off to the most impressive of starts.

Perhaps even more impressive is that she landed the role after submitting a self-taped audition when she saw it advertised on social media.

She will star alongside fellow novice Ed McVey, 23, to act out the early love story of Prince William and Kate Middleton at St Andrews University.

The pair will also join castmate 16-year-old Rufus Kampa in the show’s final series which will depict the Queen’s reign up to the early 2000s and chronicle the aftermath of Diana’s death. 

Before landing her first acting role, the 19-year-old reportedly worked as a character performer at Legoland Windsor.


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