So­cial dis­tanc­ing... or are things still a lit­tle frosty be­tween Lily and Matt?

The Mail on Sunday - - Front Page - By Katie Hind SHOW­BUSI­NESS EDITOR

THEIR re­la­tion­ship hit the buf­fers four months ago amid ru­mours Matt Smith had be­come close to his Crown co-star Claire Foy.

But as our ex­clu­sive pho­to­graphs re­veal, he and for­mer lover Lily James have stayed in touch – although nei­ther ap­pear ex­actly over­joyed by the fact.

Once known for pub­lic dis­plays of af­fec­tion, the cou­ple main­tained their dis­tance – as well as guarded ex­pres­sions on their faces – as they strolled near the North Lon­don home they once shared.

They cer­tainly ap­peared in no dan­ger of breach­ing the Govern­ment’s so­cial dis­tanc­ing guid­ance to re­main at least two me­tres apart to halt the spread of coro­n­avirus.

Wear­ing a red woolly hat and de­signer sun­glasses, Miss James, 30, man­aged a faint smile as she and the for­mer Dr Who star chat­ted dur­ing their Fri­day stroll – the first time they have been seen to­gether in pub­lic since Novem­ber, the month they broke up.

The split fol­lowed ru­mours that Miss James had strug­gled to cope with Smith’s close friend­ship with Miss Foy, 37, which de­vel­oped as they played the Queen and Prince Philip on ac­claimed Net­flix se­ries The Crown.

How­ever, other sources said that the cou­ple – who met on the set of Pride And Prej­u­dice And Zom­bies in 2014 – were driven apart be­cause of their hec­tic work sched­ules.

But even be­fore their of­fi­cial split, there were re­ports of ten­sions in their re­la­tion­ship, with Miss James ab­sent from pho­to­graphs taken at Smith’s 37th birth­day party in Oc­to­ber.

In De­cem­ber, Miss James prompted spec­u­la­tion that she had man­aged to move on from Smith by leav­ing a Bri­tish Fash­ion Awards party in May­fair in a taxi with hand­some ac­tor Max Iane­selli.

That month she also went on hol­i­day to South Africa with her friends, in­clud­ing stylist Rebecca Corbin- Mur­ray, which she de­scribed as a ‘post-trau­matic stress get­away’.

Dur­ing the jaunt, the ac­tress, who got her break­through play­ing Lady Rose in Down­ton Abbey, dropped what ap­peared to be a hint by post­ing an im­age of her visit to a wild cat sanc­tu­ary on her In­sta­gram page with the mes­sage ‘Na­tional Chee­tahs’.

MOV­ING APART: The cou­ple got much closer at a 2017 party than they did last week

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