The world is counting down the days until the first child of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duke and Duchess of Sussex, arrives this spring. After the buzz of a royal birth has calmed down, fans will still have something to look forward to as Harry and Meghan settle into parenthood. The sequel to beloved TV movie Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance will air in late May, and these pics from Lifetime's Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal are proof that Hollywood is deceivingly full of royal doppelgangers.
ICYMI, last year's Harry & Meghan: A Royal Romance provided a swoon-worthy take on how Prince Harry met and fell in love with Suits actress Meghan Markle. Premiering on Lifetime days before the couple's May 19 wedding in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the movie received particular praise for its casting of the titular characters. Compared to Lifetime's previous attempts in recreating royalty (the Prince William and Kate Middleton movie is not exactly a highlight), actors Parisa Fitz-Henley and Murray Fraser bore strong resemblances to the real Harry and Meghan.
The duo's charming chemistry probably played a large part in the network's decision to produce a sequel depicting Harry and Meghan's eventful first year of marriage. However, when a second TV movie became official, Fitz-Henley and Fraser couldn't commit to the filming schedule, meaning that the leading roles would be recast. Ahead of the sequel beginning production, Tiffany Marie Smith and Charlie Field were announced as the new Duchess and Duke.
Admittedly, the first glance at Smith and Field's headshots had me worrying that this recasting would become the stuff of internet jokes. It's tricky to fix something when it wasn't technically broken, right? But now that Lifetime has released two photos of Smith and Field stepping into their big roles, I think royals fans everywhere can rest easy.
In the first of two images, Smith and Field are seen kissing outdoors in casual outfits somewhat similar to what Harry and Meghan sported during their more adventurous outings on a recent tour of Australia and New Zealand. A second photo focuses on Smith in Meghan's bridal gown as someone adjusts her tiara. If you squint, these snapshots definitely resemble the actual Duke and Duchess during the past year's glamorous and low-key moments.
As reported by Entertainment Tonight, a press release about the movie reads:
[Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal is] pulling back the curtain to reveal the untold joys and challenges of life inside the royal family during their pivotal first year of marriage. Beyond blending their families and cultures, Harry and Meghan’s core values are put to the test as they try to find the balance between honoring royal tradition and staying true to their beliefs.
In addition to seemingly including wedding day coverage, Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal is also expected to address Meghan's pregnancy and the intense tabloid rumors about the American's adjustment to royal life and her relationship with her sister-in-law Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. The world obviously doesn't know how the royals handled these issues from the privacy of their own homes, but Lifetime is taking a crack at how some of this drama might have transpired.
Kudos to the network for striking gold with its casting yet again. Harry & Meghan: Becoming Royal premieres on Monday, May 27, at 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime.