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The Crown recreates ‘knockout’ moment Kate caught William’s eye in see-through dress

The Princess of Wales in the 'knockout' dress as imagined by The Crown (left), and the real moment (right)
The Princess of Wales in the 'knockout' dress as imagined by The Crown (left), and the real moment (right)

The Crown is to recreate the “knockout” moment when Kate Middleton caught a young Prince William’s eye in a see-through dress.

The pair were students at St Andrews when Kate modelled in a charity fashion show in 2002.

In the final episodes of The Crown, which land next month, Kate is played by newcomer Meg Bellamy, while William is portrayed by Ed McVey. Netflix said the drama will chart “the beginnings of a new Royal fairy tale in William and Kate”.

Costume designers for the Netflix show have made an almost-exact copy of the hand-knitted silk dress, which was designed by a St Andrews fashion student for £30 and later sold at auction for £65,000 in the weeks before the royal wedding.

It has been reported that William, who had previously regarded Kate as a friend, fell for her the instant that he saw her on the catwalk and approached her afterwards to say she looked a “knockout”.

In her royal biography, The Palace Papers, Tina Brown described the fashion show as the moment that “sexual attraction caught fire” between the future Prince and Princess of Wales.

William was at a front-row table and “everyone noticed that he was transfixed by a smoking-hot brunette who waltzed down the catwalk in a diaphanous black-and-gold silk dress with the shortest of short skirts that showed off her figure and supermodel-long legs,” she writes.

“For William it was a double-take as indelible as Vronsky’s first sight of Anna Karenina at the Moscow railway station.”

The designer, Charlotte Todd, said later: “I never imagined as I sat knitting this piece it would be so important.”

The final six episodes of The Crown will be released on December 14
The final six episodes of The Crown will be released on December 14 - Justin Downing/Netflix
The King and princes William and Harry on a ski trip
The King and princes William and Harry on a ski trip that, in the photo above, is recreated in The Crown - Ian Jones

The final six episodes of The Crown will be released on December 14, and will end with the wedding of Charles, the then Prince of Wales, to Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005. They are portrayed in the series by Dominic West and Olivia Williams.

Other images released by Netflix to promote the new episodes include Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh (Imelda Staunton and Jonathan Pryce) at the 2002 Golden Jubilee celebrations.

The Crown
King Charles is played by Dominic West and Queen Camilla is portrayed by Olivia Williams - Justin Downing/Netflix
The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker-Bowles leave the Windsor Guildhall in Windsor
The then Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker-Bowles leave the Windsor Guildhall in Windsor - the wedding as recreated in The Crown is above - Tim Ockenden/PA/WPA Rota

They also include one of the last images in the series of Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret. The Princess died in February 2002 and an episode of The Crown will be devoted to her.

The first instalments from series six were released earlier this month, covering the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. When the series resumes next month it will show Prince William trying to integrate back into life at Eton in the wake of his loss, before finding happiness at St Andrews with Kate.