Senan West and Dominic West in still photography from The Crown
As the second part of the final series of The Crown pokes it head around the corner, Dominic West has revealed that he actually refused to let his son, Senan West, return to the show in the role of Prince William.
Fans will recall that 15-year-old Senan joined the ensemble cast in the middle of season five as a slightly older Prince William, after allegedly sending in an audition tape.
Despite being invited back to play the role in season six, the part of Prince William is instead played by Rufus Kampa in first half of the final series, and will be played by Ed McVey in the second half.
Explaining his decision to remove his son from the series, The Wire star told Radio Times that he did not want to play out emotionally charged scenes with his real life son – especially the one in which Charles has to tell William that his mother, the late Princess Diana of Wales, has died.
“I didn’t fancy doing the scene at Balmoral, telling a boy his mother has died… They invited Senan back because he did such a good job but I did slightly baulk at that. It was unfair of me, because he did want to do it.”
Senan appeared in the final episodes of series five as William in his early teenage years, but his casting was met with some backlash and accusations of nepotism aimed at The Crown casting directors.
West later addressed the backlash in an interview with Town And Country, commenting that the show was struggling to find a Prince William actor to take over from Timothée Sambor.
He also told the outlet that made sure Senan knew how “bloody lucky” he was to be in the role, and advised him to “listen, enjoy and learn” from some of the titanic talent in the series, which includes the likes of Imelda Staunton, Jonathan Pryce and Lesley Manville.
Part one of the final series has already depicted the events leading up to and immediately after Princess Diana’s death, at which time Prince William was just 15 years old. Part two of The Crown will present an even older version of William when he is at St Andrews University and starting his relationship with Kate Middleton, played by Meg Bellamy.
The Crown season six will return to Netflix on 14 December with part two, the final outing of the series.