The attention of the global media will once again fall on St Andrews, as filming of Netflix’s The Crown is due to take place from Thursday 23 February for a month, using students and locals as extras and the buildings and streets as the backdrop.
The hugely popular television series is filming for its sixth season, following the stories of the university years of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the current Prince and Princess of Wales. The casting agency Extra People has put out a call for extras to film in St Andrews, offering pay of up to £250 per day, for students to portray a crowd of the young Prince’s adoring fans. The famous foam fight at the culmination of raisin weekend on Lower College Lawn will be shot in St Andrews, as well as depictions of William and Kate’s day-to-day life navigating the university experience as a Royal and future King. The exact details of the plot and the season are unknown at the moment, with fans speculating that these university years will be portrayed in one episode, tying in with the anthology-esque nature of the show to portray specific events in the Royals’ lives with each episode of the ten-part seasons.
The on-screen portrayals of the pair, who attended St Andrews from 2001 to 2005, have been keenly awaited by fans of the historical show, which has shown the progress of the royal family since the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. It has depicted the most celebrated and notable events concerning the Royal Family, including the Queen’s coronation, the Prime Ministerial tenure of Margaret Thatcher, and the marriage and subsequent divorce of Charles and Diana, with the sixth and final season projected to conclude the Queen’s reign into the 21st Century.
A Netflix original, it has become one of the most popular of their catalogue of shows, with its most recent season attracting over 1.1 million UK viewers on the first day of its release. Two actors have been revealed to be playing Prince William, 16-year-old Rufus Kampa and 21-year-old Ed McVey, hinting that the show will depict his adolescent years at Eton College and at home as well as his life at university. The show has a multitude of worldwide acting stars, with Harry Potter’s Imelda Staunton, playing Queen Elizabeth II, The Wire’s Dominic West, playing William’s father Prince Charles, and Tenet’s Elizabeth Debicki, who plays Princess Diana all potentially about to join the litany of famous faces spotted in St Andrews.
St Andrews is frequently represented in the world of film and television, having featured recently in the ITV crime drama Karen Pirie, as well as, historically, Never Let Me Go and Chariots of Fire. However, the widespread audience of the Netflix drama, in the wake of the death of Queen Elizabeth II and King Charles’ upcoming coronation, will no doubt put global attention back on St Andrews.