From posh Lady to poor waitress.


Lily James is a 29-year-old English actress who is better known for her roles as Disney's Cinderella and the rebellious Lady Rose in the British TV series “Downton Abbey.

Here are a few facts you might want to know about her:

Lily's name

Lily's real surname is Thomson but she changed it to James as a homage to her father’s name, the actor and musician James Thomson, when he passed away from cancer in 2008. This is also why, she says, it was so difficult for her to film soon after, the sad father-and-daughter scenes for Cinderella and why these scenes are so touching and believable.

From Posh English to American accent

After studying acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Lily James appeared in several TV shows and only one year after graduating, she was already in the hugely successful “Downton Abbey” playing the posh, aristocratic and rebellious British Lady Rose and then, in the critically acclaimed and box office success “Baby Driver”, playing an American waitress, for which she had to learn to speak with an American accent. She said that during the whole shooting of the film she avoided talking to the director, who is British because she wanted to stay in character and keep speaking only with the American accent.

Lily James while promoting Pride Prejudice Zombies, left. And Baby Drive, right.


She has also worked in several theatre-plays in England and her performances have been acclaimed by critics and theatregoers.

She played Juliet in Kenneth Branagh's "Romeo and Juliet". The critics loved her, saying she had saved the day, while they weren't exactly kind when talking about Richard Madden's rather poor performance playing Romeo.

She's in fact so incredibly talented that her success has already paid off; she is said to be worth $15 million.


The beautiful English Rose is almost royalty as, since 2014, she's been dating Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Alright, alright, that's not exactly accurate, she's actually dating Matt Smith, the super charming British actor who portrayed Prince Philip in the TV series "The Crown". The two met while shooting the horror/comedy "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies". There are rumours that the couple got recently engaged because Lily attended the BAFTA Awards wearing a big diamond ring on her finger. She later dismissed the rumour, saying she had only worn a ring. Let's pretend we believe her!


Lily James became the face of Burberry's and later, starred with Siena Miller among others, the company's Christmas campaign, the film "The Tale of Thomas Burberry", written by Academy Award-nominated Matt Charman and directed by Academy Award-winning Asif Kapadia. The 3-minute film tells the story of the company's founder Thomas Burberry, who created the iconic trench coat, and has Lily James as the pilot Betty Dawson, a fictionalized character.


This summer, Lily James will be in the sequel of the musical "Mamma Mia: Here we go again!", playing the younger version of the wonderful actress Meryl Streep's character. We already know she has a gorgeous singing voice because of her singing "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" in Disney's Cinderella, so we can't wait to see what she will be able to do with ABBA's songs!

Left, Lily James in Milan and right, at Berlinale

photos via shutterstock