‘The Crown’ Will Recreate the Fashion Show Where a Scantily Clad Kate Middleton Stole Prince William’s Heart

The show’s sixth and final season premieres this fall.

Prince William and Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty)

Season six of Netflix’s The Crown—the show’s final season—picks up in the summer of 1997 and, while we’re not totally sure where the series ends, we know it doesn’t go all the way up until modern times. The series is reported to end around 2005—when Prince Charles married Camilla Parker-Bowles and when Prince William and Kate Middleton graduated from university. One time period we know will be featured is the early days of the courtship of William and Kate, which began at the University of St. Andrews in the early 2000s. After first meeting in 2001, the two became friends and eventually roommates, and ultimately started dating around 2002 or 2003. It was when William saw Kate walk in a charity fashion show, wearing a see-through dress (you know the one!), that he apparently began to think of her as more than just a friend.

The dress Kate Middleton wore to the fashion show where Prince William fell for her

(Image credit: Getty Images)

And we’ll get to see that moment play out on The Crown, The Sun reports. With actors Ed McVey and Meg Bellamy playing William and Kate, we learned that the sensational moment will be portrayed onscreen, according to the show’s executive producers. Suzanne Mackie and Andy Harries, speaking at the Edinburgh TV Festival, showed images of the recreated moment on the catwalk—one of the many covered, beginning with Princess Diana’s last summer, her fatal car accident (though the moment of impact will not be shown), and no doubt her funeral.

Princess Diana in a tiara and green dress

(Image credit: Getty)

Mackie said the car crash—in which three of the car’s four passengers were killed—will be handled with “enormous sensitivity.” Mackie said “There was no question that we would be, firstly, meticulous in our research and read and listen, and of course secondly and most importantly is to be sensitive. There was [sic] very, very careful, long, long conversations about how we do it, and the audience will judge it in the end. But I think it’s been delicately, thoughtfully recreated.”

The Sun reveals that the show has cost roughly £300 million to create over the course of its six seasons, and that the show took cast and crew across a monumental 2,448 sets built from scratch in various locations around the globe, meaning a different set appeared, on average, about every 75 seconds. 

Jonny Lee Miller, Dominic West, Marcia Warren, Elizabeth Debicki, Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce, Lesley Manville and Claudia Harrison attend the World Premiere of Netflix's "The Crown" Season 5 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on November 8, 2022 in London, England.

(Image credit: Photo by David M. Benett / Getty)

“It’s the kind of scale and budget normally reserved for big-screen blockbusters, and came about because the producers had just made Oscar-winning movie The Queen, with Helen Mirren as Her Majesty, and had intended The Crown to be a film, too,” The Sun reports. (Fans of the show, by the way, are pinning their hopes on a movie being made to follow up the last season of the show, which will air sometime this fall.)

“It started as a movie idea, actually,” executive producer Andy Harries said. “The writer Peter Morgan sent me a few paragraphs about doing a young Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill. He wondered if that had the same kind of power and gravitas as The Queen—the movie that he and I had done together. Then we started chatting about it and he said, ‘Well, there’s lots more we could do—we could turn it into a miniseries. But we’ve got to have a huge budget, we’ve got to have a lot of money—we’ve got to do it properly.’ The kind of money we were looking for ended up at about £5 million an episode. If you want great work, you’ve got to make sure you can achieve it by money, truthfully, and do it properly.” 

The Crown

(Image credit: Netflix)

The show launched in 2016 as a “love letter” to the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, with a cast of actors that changed every two seasons—essential, but also a risk. “I don’t think there was any way you could find a cast from the ‘50s that went right through the ages—we had to make that decision right up front,” Harries said. “Peter always thought ‘three queens,’ and, therefore, three casts under her. But wonderfully, no television show has ever done that before. Would it work? You never really know. We weren’t even sure if people would buy Helen Mirren as Elizabeth in The Queen. But because that had worked, we got used to the idea that you could cast actors that would not necessarily look absolutely the same but would inhabit the part.”

Queen Elizabeth

(Image credit: Getty)

The formula worked—and we are eagerly anticipating the final season of the show, though certainly wish it wasn’t its last.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.