Lily James And Matt Smith’s Full Relationship Timeline

Are the on again/off again couple off again?

lily james matt smith

by Katie Rosseinsky and Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Last month, rumours swirled of a new Hollywood relationship: Captain America actor Chris Evans and Mamma Mia 2's Lily James. The pair were spotted leaving a London members' club, getting into a taxi and heading to The Corinthia Hotel (not a long walk, to be honest, but that's beside the point.)

What's important is if love has bloomed and, if so, what this means for Lily's on again/off again relationship with The Crown's Matt Smith.

In May, reports stated that Lily and Matt had got back together. But the pair were distinctly separate at the end of June. Matt was spotted arriving for the rehearsals of a virtual version of his play, Lungs, with co-star Claire Foy, while Lily spent a sunny Sunday afternoon on Primrose Hill with friends Gemma Chan, Dominic Cooper and Billie Piper.

Have they really given it another try? Their split, which took place last year, came after suggestions that Smith had grown closer to Claire. At the very least, it's looking pretty amicable lately, so we're taking a trip down memory lane.

Lily James and Matt Smith: A relationship history

As a couple, Lily James and Matt Smith were firmly established as the darlings of both the fashion world and Hollywood: the former has had a Burberry campaign plus a string of roles in critically acclaimed films and TV adaptations (Baby Driver, Darkest Hour, War and Peace: we could go on…). The latter charmed the Netflix-watching world as The Crown’s Prince Philip. But despite the fact that their respective stars were constantly on the rise, the couple managed to keep their relationship out of the spotlight.

Meeting on the set of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies back in 2014, when Smith played the ever-creepy Mr. Collins to James' Elizabeth Bennet, the couple were part of the same (star-studded) friendship group before they eventually started dating.

After they were pictured looking close at the Cannes Film Festival in May of that year, James still denied rumours of a relationship for months after, giving the Scottish Daily News the time-honoured ‘just my friend’ line and telling the paper, ‘We hang out a lot […] get on really well as we have a lot in common.’

Since then, the pair accompanied each other to a handful of red carpet premieres and reportedly moved in together in a flat in London’s Primrose Hill. They both, however, chose to steer clear of discussing their relationships in interviews.

‘In regards to your love life, you’re just entering into a whole [world] of pain if you talk about it,’ James sagely told InStyle back in 2015. ‘If you’ve never said anything, there are no sound bites to haunt you when you’re crying into a box of Kleenex after it all goes wrong.’

Indeed, when James was spotted wearing a diamond ring at 2018's BAFTAs, the rumour mill went into overdrive with engagement speculation – which neither she nor Smith chose to comment upon. In the era of Instagram PDA and over-sharing, it certainly seemed far from the norm for an A-list couple to manage to keep their love story private.

Their 'dignified silence' approach was greatly tested in 2019. In October of that year, Matt starred in The Old Vic's production of Lungs, alongside his The Crown co-star Claire Foy. Rumours spread that the pair had embarked on a dalliance, and a trawl through the archives showed that Matt and Lily had not been photographed together since the previous August. Nor had Lily attended Matt's October birthday party. The relationship was thought to be over, although no parties commented on the developments.

In recent months, Matt and LIly have been spotted together in North London, and the reports of a reunion spread far and wide. These new sightings with Chris, however, may quell those rumours for good.

Look back at Lily and Matt’s relationship in pictures in the gallery below...


Relationship Timeline: Lily James and Matt Smith

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May 2014

Lily and Matt first met on the set of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies back in 2014, and sparked relationship rumours when they were spotted together at the Cannes Film Festival (pictured here with friend Gemma Arterton).

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

February 2015

The couple made their red (or in this case, blue) carpet debut at the premiere of Cinderella, in which Lily portrayed the ultimate Disney princess.

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June 2015

Matt and Lily hold hands (while avoiding the cameras) at Ralph Lauren's Wimbledon party.

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December 2015

The pair attend the Harper's Bazaar Women of the Year Awards together in London.

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January 2016

Lily and Matt attend a screening of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in Florida, pictured with co-star Douglas Booth.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

February 2016

The pair share a sweet moment on the red carpet at the London premiere of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

August 2016

After Lily is announced as the new face of My Burberry Black perfume, the pair celebrate the launch with a party at Thomas's Café in the brand's Regent Street flagship store, joined by the likes of Douglas Booth and Jenna Coleman.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

May 2017

Matt and Lily strike a pose on the blue carpet at the Met Gala, which they attended as guests of Burberry's Christopher Bailey.

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CREDIT: Shutterstock

February 2018

When Lily was spotted at the BAFTAs wearing a huge diamond ring (seriously, you couldn't miss it), the engagement rumour mill went into overdrive. However, neither she nor Matt have yet confirmed the happy news.

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July 2018

Lily was the belle of the ball in a fairytale princess dress, worn to the premiere of Mamma Mia 2. Matt was a dutiful escort for Lily's big night.

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December 2019 til now...

The pair dined out at Scott's in December 2019, following rumours of trouble in Paradise and Matt's supposed relationship with co-star Claire Foy. Since then they have been spotted out together rarely, and are thought to have split for good.

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