The night before she filmed Kate Middleton’s famous catwalk scene for The Crown — you know, the time she sported a risqué sheer dress at a student fashion show, catching Prince William’s eye — Meg Bellamy practiced walking in the heels she’d wear down the runway. All went well until she stepped outside to take out her trash bins and heard a snap.
“I actually broke the bottom of the heel. There was a screw poking out,” Bellamy tells Bustle. The pair, she’d learned from the costume department, wasn’t made for outside. Luckily, it was a quick fix on set the next day. “Never again will I do that,” she says.
In some ways, Bellamy is still learning the ropes. The now 21-year-old actor was working at Legoland in 2022, playing the part of a giant red brick, when she received word that she’d been cast in The Crown. She promptly gave her notice and devoted herself to preparing for the role. Of course, she researched everything about Middleton’s pre-royal life, but there were also more practical preparations, like training for a swimming scene where Kate out-swims William (Ed McVey) at the university pool.
“It was the tumble turns that really got me,” Bellamy says. “I remember one time I forgot to take a breath before I did it. So I was like convulsing in the water.”
For those used to seeing Middleton as the Princess of Wales and a mother of three, watching Bellamy race in a pool might feel jarring. But the show focuses on a time when Kate was just a “normal” college girl, not a princess-in-waiting with her eyes set on marrying into royalty. In one scene, she blows off William when he’s rude to a fellow student who asks him for an autograph.
Bellamy finds the show’s perspective on Middleton refreshing. “I love that she’s very self assured and is her own person. I think it would be easy for her to be written as the girlfriend and just there to elevate William’s story,” she says. “Her relationship with William in her eyes, is like, ‘Is this good for me?’ It’s not like, ‘It’s William, and that’s enough.’”
With her breakout performance now out in the world, Bellamy is searching for her next big gig. But wherever she lands, she’s sure to take with her everything she learned from her experience on The Crown, especially the wisdom she gleaned from her more established costars.
“We watched them do take, take, take, and they were killing it every time. But then when they came off set, everyone’s just chatting and having crisps, and they’re so chill and different to their characters,” she says. “It’s so nice to know that you don’t have to be super serious and in character the whole day.” A great lesson to take onboard — well, that, and to keep costume shoes indoors.
In The Bustle Booth
What’s your coffee order?
It jumps around between a cappuccino, a flat white, or an iced latte, but always oat milk!
What cities are the saved weather locations on your phone?
I’ve got some places on there still from our press tour, like New York and LA. And also places that I’d love to visit, like Tokyo.
What is your star sign?
I’m a Libra. I used to know way more about all that. I went through a real astrology phase when I was about 16. From memory, I’m a Scorpio Moon and Virgo Rising, if that means anything to you.
What’s your favorite overused movie quote?
Anything from Home Alone, Jurassic Park, or The Incredibles. I could probably recite those films word for word. I can also recite the entire opening of Bee Movie; blame my little brother.
What was your favorite cartoon as a kid?
I loved Tom and Jerry as a child. My favorite films when I was really young were Finding Nemo and The Little Mermaid — I would watch them back to back on REPEAT.
What’s one movie or TV show that you're currently obsessed with?
I just finished The Traitors UK. Holy moly. I was hooked. I watched 7 hours of it straight on a flight. Seriously, so good.
Who is your celebrity idol?
Jodie Comer is my favorite actress, but there are so many incredible people that I look up to for so many reasons.
If you had to be on a reality TV show, which one would it be?
I’d be on The Traitors! I’d find it so fascinating. I’m not sure if I’d prefer to be a faithful or a traitor though.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
Probably “Proud Mary,” it’s a great builder song.
What’s something that's been inspiring you lately?
My friends, just seeing how people can be so giving and positive, no matter what’s going on in their own lives, I find it incredibly inspiring.
What’s something you’d want people to say about you?
I hope it would be about kindness. If people said that I could really act, that would be great, too.