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The Crown: Child actor who plays Prince Harry beat cancer as a baby

‘Throughout everything, he was a superstar. Our little boy never complained once,’ actor’s father said

Ellie Muir
Thursday 15 December 2022 07:41 GMT
The Crown Season 5 trailer

A child actor who plays the young Prince Harry in the latest series of The Crown beat cancer when he was just 21 months old.

Thirteen-year-old Will Powell was diagnosed with leukaemia as a baby and underwent 27 operations.

He received years of treatment for the blood cell cancer at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, supported by his father and mother Michelle.

In a new interview, Powell’s father, Andy said: “Throughout everything, he was a superstar. Our little boy never complained once.”

Powell’s mother spotted a casting call for season five of the Netflix series for an actor to play Prince William, though his dad thought he was more suited to the role of Prince Harry.

"Will was asked to provide a self-tape at first. He got to the last four, then two, and then finally he had an interview with the casting director via Skype,” Andy told the BBC. “The next day we got the news that he’d been successful.”

Andy said his family had been “bursting with excitement” as they awaited the launch of The Crown season five, which dropped on Netflix in November.

Over the past five years, Powell’s family and a team of volunteers collected used Christmas trees, raising £52,000 for The Children’s Hospital Charity.

King Charles, Princess Diana, Prince Harry and Prince William in The Crown season five (Netflix)

Andy explained: "It is highly likely that without the unwavering determination and care of the people at Sheffield Children’s, Will might not be here to enjoy this incredible life experience.”

“We, as a family, thank the team from the bottom of our hearts. They are such an incredible group of people,” he added.

In season five of the hit Netflix series, Imelda Staunton stars as Queen Elizabeth, with main castmembers including Jonathan Pryce, Lesley Manville, Jonny Lee Miller, Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki. All cast members are new to the series as they portray older versions of the royals depicted in earlier seasons.

The 10 episodes in the season focus on Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, such as the decommissioning of the royal yacht, and heavily features the breakdown of the marriage between then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Prince William starts attending Eton College in the season and the two young princes appear regularly in family scenes, like when Prince Charles and Princess Diana visit Italy, with their children, in episode one.

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