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The Crown’s Dominic West reveals heartbreaking reason he stopped his son reprising Prince William role

West plays Prince Charles in the long-running Netflix series

Kevin E G Perry
Wednesday 06 December 2023 01:28 GMT
The most unmissable moments from The Crown season 6

Dominic West has revealed that he blocked his son, Senan West, from returning to the role of young Prince William in season six of The Crown because he was uncomfortable with the gravity of the storyline.

West, who plays Prince Charles in the long-running Netflix drama, shared the screen with his son last season. However, for the first part of season six – which deals in part with the death of William’s mother, Princess Diana – the role of Prince William was filled by Rufus Kampa. 

Speaking to the Radio Times, as reported by The Times, West said: “I didn’t really fancy doing the scene at Balmoral, telling a boy his mother has died.”

“They invited Senan back because he did such a good job, and he was great, but I did slightly balk at that,” West continued. “It was unfair of me because he did want to do it, but I wouldn’t have fancied that, to be honest.”

For the second part of the season, due to be released on 14 December, the role of William will pass to an older actor, Ed McVey, as the story shifts focus to the budding relationship between William and Kate Middleton.

Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana in The Crown (Daniel Escale/Netflix)

Prior to the release of the series, The Crown’s executive producer Suzanne Mackie promised an audience at the Edinburgh TV Festival that Diana’s death would be handled delicately.

“The show might be big and noisy, but we’re not. We’re thoughtful people and we’re sensitive people,” said Mackie. “There was a very, very careful, long, long, long conversation about how we do it – and I hope, you know, the audience will judge it in the end, but I think it’s been delicately, thoughtfully recreated.”

Long a figure of frenzied interest to Britain’s tabloid media for her beauty and the acrimonious nature of her divorce from the Prince of Wales, now King Charles III, Diana was just 36 when she, her boyfriend Dodi Fayed and their chauffeur Henri Paul were killed when their Mercedes-Benz, pursued by paparazzi, crashed in the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in the French capital 26 years ago.

The accident shocked the world and led to an almost unprecedented outpouring of public grief, but has since been made the subject of a number of lurid conspiracy theories.

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