Go behind-the-scenes of PEOPLE's photo shoot with the British actress and her costar Richard Madden

By Jacqueline Andriakos
Updated March 12, 2015 08:10 AM
Credit: Victor Chavez/Wireimage

She plays the radiant blond princess in Disney’s new Cinderella live-action remake. But Lily James is a big fan of some other royals as well.

The 25-year-old star chatted about her favorite prince and princess and what makes her feel like royalty at a shoot for PEOPLE’s new issue alongside her on-screen Prince Charming, Richard Madden, 28.

“Sadly, I’ve never met Princess Kate,” she admitted. But she has found a fan in the duchess’s husband, Prince William.

“I have met Will. I was at a charity event and he said hello,” she recalled about her royal run-in. “I think he said something to do with [Downton Abbey] he likes [the show]!” (James plays Lady Rose MacClare in the period drama.)

The British actress also dished on her favorite Disney dame: Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

“As a kid I had long brown hair. And I think you always side with the princess that you think that maybe you could look like,” she said.

Her day-to-day life may not be studded with ball gowns, glass slippers and princes on horseback, but James finds that it’s the little things in life that keep her feeling like she still has some of that Cinderella magic.

“I think I feel most like a princess when I’m sort of bursting with happiness and love. So whether that would be, like, with my boyfriend or my family, or at a really fun party,” said James, who is dating actor Matt Smith. “When you’re just full – you’re full of life.”

For much more about Lily James, Richard Madden and Cinderella, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

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