Forget Justin Timberlake or Nick Carter, there was one late ’90s heartthrob guaranteed to drive girls crazy: Prince William.
With their burgeoning good looks, fancy title and tragic past, the British royal family has become the stuff of dreams for young people around the world. Her face was plastered across magazines, hordes of screaming girls would gather outside wherever she was scheduled to appear, and she even made an unwitting cameo when her photo flashed in “The Princess Diaries 2,” cementing her status as a pop culture icon. He appears on-screen as a potential husband for Anne Hathaway’s character, Mia (“Oh yes! I totally agree!” exclaims Hathaway, before being informed that William is ineligible because he is a candidate for her own crown).
The royal-right hysteria of the late ’90s and early 2000s is recreated in its sixth and final season. “Crown” In the episode titled “Willsmania,” the confused teenager, still grieving the loss of his mother, Princess Diana, suddenly finds himself juggling global sympathy and lust. In this episode, William, played by Ed McVey, is seen reading some of the thousands of fan letters sent to his boarding school and blushing fiercely as girls scream for him outside the royal event, holding “Marry Me” signs and teddy bears. “It was madness, like the arrival of a pop star,” says Prince Charles, played by Dominic West.
McVey, himself a newcomer to the celebrity world, sees the fandom that has emerged around the prince as emblematic of a unique cultural moment. “According to me [the ‘90s] It was really the birth of pop culture and he was in that age group and people were so excited for him,” McVey said. Variation At the series finale celebration in London.
The actor got his taste for “Willsmania” earlier this year while filming “The Crown” with Meg Bellamy, who plays Kate Middleton. They were greeted by paparazzi and stunned locals as they re-created scenes from the royal couple’s romance at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. “It was incredibly helpful in a way,” McVey said. “Because that was a lot of his life at the time, and we went through that a little bit on the show, so it was helpful as an actor to understand what that felt like, because it’s weird.”
“The Crown” creator and showrunner Peter Morgan said Variation earlier this year He said he was reluctant to include William in the show, which ended with the wedding of Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005. “He’s clearly someone who doesn’t want it to be written about, and I want to protect him from that, but he’s the heir to the throne,” Morgan said.
“Up to that moment in 2005, given that it was 20 years ago and therefore a generation away, from my perspective everything was legitimate and therefore honourable,” he added. “Part of this was William meeting Kate at university. That’s why I had to do this.
Perhaps that’s why Morgan portrays young William as shy, often hiding behind a Bieber-style curtain of hair, and whose younger brother Harry (played by Luther Ford) teases him about his adoring fans. “Will is a shy old thing, uncomfortable with this kind of attention,” Prince Charles tells Camilla in this episode.
The real Prince Harry has admitted to being a fan of “The Crown,” but McVey didn’t spend much time thinking about what he could take away from William’s performance IRL. “Not particularly,” McVey said. “It would have been too much if I had thought about all that. I was able to separate the two. And Peter wrote such an incredible character, there was so much going on in him, that I was able to get into that and leave out other things that might have been more distracting.”
Either way, “The Crown’s” millions of fans around the world will definitely tune in. So does Emma Corrin’s portrayal of William’s mother. Season 4 Diana has created a new wave among fans, get ready to see Willsmania 2.0 when the second episode of Season 6 airs. She is probably a bit confused with Edmania as well.