This royal will star in a new TV series from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes

The actress-turned-royal shares a close connection to senior members of the Royal Family

Members of the royal family including Sophie Winkleman, Prince Harry, Princess Anne and Prince Edward
(Image credit: Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images)

Sophie Winkleman has been cast in the second season of Belgravia, a period drama from the king of period dramas himself, Julian Fellowes. Julian has previously created shows and movies including Downton Abbey, The Gilded Age and Gosford Park. Sophie, who also goes by the title of Lady Frederick Windsor, married the son of the Queen’s first cousin, Prince Michael of Kent.

Meghan Markle isn’t the only royal with a roster of acting credits to their name. Sophie Winkleman has been a working actress since 2001, and continued to work after marrying into the Royal Family in 2009.

Sophie’s new acting gig will see her play a titled Lady – so not much of a stretch.

She will play Lady Rochester in the second season of Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia.

Sophie Winkleman and Lord Frederick Windsor

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

The first season of the series followed the aftermath of a party on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, however, the second series will be set some 25 years later, focusing on an entirely new story.

Sophie’s Lady Rochester will play “one of the pivotal roles in the story,” Julian told the Daily Mail.

“I think we’re very lucky. I have worked with Sophie before, on my version of the Titanic story, and I am a fan,” he added.

Sophie – who also happens to be the sister of British TV personality and Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman – adopted the official title of Lady Frederick Windsor when she married Lord Frederick Windsor in 2009.

Lord Frederick is the son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Prince Michael is the late Queen Elizabeth II’s paternal cousin.

Sophie Winkleman enjoys a close relationship with many senior royals

(Image credit: Indigo/Getty Images)

Prince Michael would occasionally represent Queen Elizabeth at some functions in Commonwealth realms outside the United Kingdom during her reign. At age five, he was a Page Boy at the wedding of the then-Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip.  

Sophie has vociferously defended the Royal Family in the past, praising senior members of the family for being welcoming to her.

Writing for the Spectator in December 2022, following the premiere of Harry and Meghan’s Netflix docuseries and when the many members were firmly in the spotlight of the tabloids, Sophie hit out at the “brutal media attention, criticism, lies” that the royals endure.

She wrote, “I cherish my growing closeness to the senior members of the royal family who are so hardworking, uncomplaining and brave in the face of relentless and brutal media attention, criticism, lies, undermining and fictional TV programmes – and always so good to me that I’m honoured to know them.”

A release date for the second season of Belgravia hasn't been confirmed just yet, but you can check out Sophie's acting in 2022's This is Going to Hurt, airing on AMC+ in the States and BBC iPlayer in the UK.  

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

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