Julian Fellowes explains that a character in Belgravia is based on a descendant of the Duchess of Cornwall

It’s the hotly anticipated period drama from the creator of Downton Abbey, focusing on the lives of 19th century London’s aristocrats, so it’s perhaps unsurprising that ITV’s Belgravia has a royal connection. Julian Fellowes, the show’s creator, explained to HELLO! and other reporters at an exclusive screening and Q&A that one of the characters in the new series, which is based on real people and events, is a descendant of the Duchess of Cornwall.

WATCH: Belgravia is the new period drama from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes

Julian made the revelation when discussing the Trenchard family and why lead character James Trenchard’s journey from rags to riches could be considered authentic and true to life. “You know if anyone says ‘But did that really [happen], would a career like James’ really happen at that time?’ An example of it was Thomas Cubitt who he’s working with, who started out as a ship’s carpenter, became a great figure of Victorian London and his son was made a peer.”

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Philip Glenister as James Trenchard

The Downton Abbey creator continued: “And indeed the present Duchess of Cornwall is his descendant, so it was doable. And it was this extraordinary expanding economy that made it doable. There was always room for more at that time.” In the show, James (played by Philip Glenister) joins master builders Thomas and William Cubitt in their construction of a new ‘City of the Rich’ in London – Belgravia. His family, along with wife Anne (played by Tamsin Greig), advance up the social ladder, becoming part of the coveted aristocracy that existed in nineteenth century London, but it comes with its downfalls.

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Tamsin Greig also stars in the show

The gripping six-part series is set to be the next big period drama on TV that will no doubt have viewers hooked. Julian also explained the reasons why he wanted to focus on the coveted area of London as he was fascinated by its history. The writer and director said: “I’ve always been interested in the creation of Belgravia because it’s one of the few parts of London that was built entirely as one.”

Tamsin, who also attended the Q&A, spoke of what attracted her to the ITV drama. She explained: “I was really excited to investigate a world, which the viewers are invited to inhabit, through the aorta of a woman.” She continued: “And because you’re brought into this world [which] opens out into this really rich, diverse, fascinating world. It’s a story of how people live with grief. And I think that that’s a universal and that may well be one of our greatest problems today is that we just won’t sit with our grief and see what happens when you take it seriously.” We can’t wait to watch!

Belgravia starts Sunday 15 March at 9pm on ITV

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