Charlotte Riley to play Duchess of Cambridge in new BBC drama

Peaky Blinders’ star Charlotte Riley is to play the Duchess of Cambridge in a new BBC drama that envisions a constitutional crisis with Prince Charles as king.

Green Wing actor Oliver Chris will play Prince William opposite Charlotte, whilst Tim Pigott-Smith will star as King Charles III.

The inventive drama sees the new king refuse to sign a controversial bill causing political chaos, rioting on the streets and a tank in front of Buckingham Palace.

The 90-minute one-off programme is based on the Laurence Olivier award-winning 2014 play of the same name which also stars Tim and Oliver, as well as Richard Goulding as Harry and Adam James as the Prime Minister.

Charlotte said she was “excited” to play Kate, adding: “It’s such a unique project, to be both modern and rich in verse and to play someone who is real but yet totally re-imagined for this story.

“Kate Middleton is a really interesting woman, particularly within the context of this play, and it is a challenge I am really looking forward to.”

Tim said: “Performing King Charles in Mike Bartlett’s astonishing play in London and New York has been one of the high points of my career.

“I am thrilled that we are to film it – it is a drama about us, now, who we are, and the relevance of our monarchy. Television gives it an important democratic voice.”

Directed by Rupert Goold, King Charles won the Best New Play at the 2015 Laurence Olivier Awards.

Writer Mike Bartlett said: “I couldn’t be more excited that King Charles III is now fully, brilliantly cast and about to begin shooting. We have an exceptional team, both in front of and behind the camera, and I’m looking forward to bringing this very contemporary royal tragedy to a national television audience.”

More in this Section

Dermot O’Leary reveals baby son’s nameDermot O’Leary reveals baby son’s name

Tributes paid to screen ‘legend’ Earl CameronTributes paid to screen ‘legend’ Earl Cameron

Amber Heard can be in court for Johnny Depp’s evidence, High Court rulesAmber Heard can be in court for Johnny Depp’s evidence, High Court rules

David and Victoria Beckham celebrate 21st wedding anniversaryDavid and Victoria Beckham celebrate 21st wedding anniversary


Cross rope bridges strung across the Atlantic or visit reimagining of time gone by; whatever you fancy doing, you’ll find it in Ulster.Staycations 2020: Take your pick from these great things to do in Ulster

I can’t eat anything without chilli flakes stuffed into itShape I'm In: Novelis Emma Murray

Peter Dowdall has advice on caring for these perennial favouritesLook after your peonies and they'll brighten your garden

A routine smear test picked up Eileen Rushe's cancer when she was in her early 30s. It was a long road to recovery, says Arlene Harris.In check: Why every woman must get a cervical screening test

More From The Irish Examiner