Belgravia: Why did Anne Trenchard give Sophia’s baby away after she died? Actress opens up

BELGRAVIA is a new period drama airing on ITV and it was created by Julian Fellowes, who developed a love for the high-end part of London. The series follows the Trenchard family who are working their way up the ranks of society during the 19th century. In the series, Anne Trenchard (played by Tamsin Greig) makes the difficult decision to give away her daughter’s baby, and the actress has spoken exclusively to the media, including, about the emotional scene.

Fans of Belgravia were left feeling emotional after Sophia Trenchard (Emily Reid) died during childbirth with her mother at her side.

Sophia had been through a false marriage with her lover, the aristocrat Edmund Bellasis (Jeremy Neumark Jones) and she was carrying his child.

Edmund later died in the Battle of Waterloo and Sophia was left to give birth on her own, but she had come up with a plan.

If news got out she and Edmund had an illegitimate child both family names would be tarnished, and she had planned to give the baby away.


  • Belgravia: Why did Anne Trenchard reveal her family secret?

She unexpectedly died after giving birth to her son, who would grow up to be Charles Pope, and her mother was left to go along with the plan.

She wanted so badly to keep the baby but, knowing it would ruin their new-found reputation which was so important at the time, she gave him away.

The Trenchards wanted the baby to be raised by a family who would not bring shame on him, and she made the tough decision.

Greig, who plays Anne Trenchard, spoke about the scene which left many fans in tears.

She said: “The [death scenes] were filmed all in one day in a beautiful cottage outside Manchester.

“Doing this with Emily, she is such a fabulous actor, I didn’t really have to do much except watch her.

“She is such a present actor and so truthful, you just have to observe and allow yourself to be moved by it.

“It was hard, but what I also think is so beautiful is you see the private grief, then you see an actor like Harriet Walter (who plays Lady Brockenhurst) and you see all of the grief contained in a public way.”

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Lady Brockenhurst was the mother of Edmund Bellasis and Anne Trenchard met her at an afternoon tea.

The pair came to like each other as they spoke about their connection to Bellasis, and Anne decided she would tell Lady Brockenhurst about her secret grandson.

Lady Brockenhurst was thrilled to have a grandson but said it would bring shame upon her family name if anyone found out he was an illegitimate child.

She did not want news to get out about her son tricking Sophia into a false marriage and seducing her. She left people to guess for themselves Charles Pope was the son of Edmund Bellasis.


  • Belgravia: Julian Fellowes on ‘tragic’ inspiration behind drama

Emily Reid spoke about the role of Sophia and how she was always determined to dream big and would not stop fighting for what she believed in.

She said: “The great tragedy of her story is that this is a woman who is following her heart and trying to do the right thing, but it ends in the most awful way for her.

“This shows how difficult it was for women back then to lead a normal life, fall in love and have a child.”

Speaking about her relationship with Greig she said: “I love her. She’s such an incredible actor. I learnt so much from being in scenes with her.

“From Tamsin, I learnt the importance of playing with your screen partner and always being present.”

Belgravia returns to ITV tonight, April 5, at 9pm

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