Barely a month after their fairy-tale wedding, a new film depicting the budding romance of Prince William and Kate Middleton is being rushed out for television viewers.
A mixture of fact and fiction, "William & Kate: A Royal Love Story" is expected to be released in August on the Hallmark Channel.
Director Linda Yellen took some time out from filming at MediaPro Studios in Romania to speak with The Associated Press. The American was also producer of CBS's "The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana" in 1982, a film that had a huge audience at the time.
"William & Kate" is more than a romance _ it's also "a psychological story of the memory of the mother, in this case Princess Diana, and her legacy," Yellen said. The film shows how William "has to choose to live his life with her memory and with the decisions he has to make," including the decision of whom to marry.
The couple was married April 29 in a lavish ceremony at Westminster Abbey watched by millions. Filming began in early May and AP Television cameras were given exclusive access to the set.
Yellen, who met Princess Diana three times, called the movie "a very personal story. In a way, it's my tribute to her as well as a tribute to the young couple."
Yellen, whose father died on the first day of shooting the film, said her loss made her better understand some of the scenes where William communicates with his mother in a spiritual way. She wrote the script in two weeks, after she saw William had given Diana's ring to Middleton.
"The whole story came to me in that moment," she said.
While using real events and words that were told in real life, there are also dialogues she's written and situations she imagined. One such scene depicts William's 21st birthday party, with Kate and William dancing together as Queen Elizabeth II looks on. Guests are dressed in vividly colored African costumes with tables laid for a feast in a large hall with ornate arcades. There are statues of elephants and potted palm trees in the background as Kate and William are having fun _ and falling in love.
British actress Alice St. Clair, who plays Middleton, said the film _ her first _ is a series of snapshots of the relationship between the couple and tracks their developing friendship. She said it shows how William is attracted to Kate, with whom he shares a sense of humor, because she challenges him and is very competitive.
St. Clair, who has short hair but wears extensions for the movie, acknowledges she was not "a carbon-copy of Kate." "We were not trying to mimic her but ... to show the essence of her and bring my own self into it," the actress, wearing a blue gown and fascinator, said during a break from filming.
American actor Dan Amboyer, who plays William, called the film "a modern fairy tale." Amboyer, who made his debut in the "Law & Order" series, said the "script is smart, is fun, there is real wit between them. It's not at all schmaltzy."
In the film, the two meet by chance when William bumps into Kate who was carrying laundry. Amboyer said his character learns from her about ordinary things such as cooking a meal or doing the laundry. There are friends, parties, the breakup, the makeup and of course the British royal family.
Oscar-nominated Jane Alexander is Queen Elizabeth II, a grandmother pondering whether Kate is right for Will and for the throne.
"We don't show a lot of disapproval or doubt," she said, "but you see her (the queen) questioning Kate about her public speaking, about what she calls training."
"I think she is trying to make sure that what happened with Diana and Charles does not happen with Kate and Will," Alexander said.
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