The reason behind Dominic West’s son refusal to return to The Crown as William

The Crown: Season 6 preview

The Crown has returned to Netflix for its final season but the actor who portrayed Prince William hasn’t.

For the historical drama’s fifth season, Dominic West’ took on the role of Charles, while Elizabeth Debicki channelled her inner Princess Diana.

While these two actors reprised their roles in the all-new season of The Crown, which has dominated the headlines for the controversial topics it has covered, the star who played Prince William, the estranged pair’s eldest son, refused to come back.

For those fans who aren’t aware, in the show’s previous season Dominic’s son, Senan played the role of the young Prince William alongside Will Powell as his younger brother Prince Harry.

However, after revisiting the treacherous life of Diana before her death in 1997, Dominic admitted some scenes proved a little too much for his son, so much so he refused to come back to film season six.

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Why was Senan replaced?

In November 2022, Dominic confirmed his son wouldn’t be reprising his role as Prince William in the show’s sixth season after he found last year’s outing of the show too emotional.

Season five of the drama took a look back at Diana’s divorce from Charles as well as how both Prince William and Harry dealt with the emotional turmoil of their royal parents’ very bitter and public divorce – which didn’t sit right with some fans.

The show would go on to stir up further controversy after it was revealed the writers would in fact recreate Diana’s tragic death in 1997.

The two boys were just 15 and 12, respectively, when their mother was killed in the fatal traffic collision along with her partner Dodi Fayed, and chauffeur Henri Paul.

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Understandably, Senan had some tough scenes to recreate as a first-time actor but his dad admitted: “I loved watching him do it,” told RadioTimes, as he referred to the on and off-screen father-son duo’s scenes together.

“So that was wonderful but when it gets very emotional, it can get a bit weird,” Dominic added, later admitting: “When he had to cry, it was horrible.”

Senan found filming so emotional, in fact, he has since decided to opt-out from returning as William when showrunner Peter Morgan and the cast begin work on The Crown’s current season.

“He actually decided not to do it for the next series,” the Prince Charles impersonator confirmed at the time, noting he would likely struggle with “some of the more emotional scenes that we did this [season six] around Diana’s death.”

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Who replaced Senan West in season 6 of The Crown?

Rufus Kampa has stepped up to play young Prince William for the new series.

The young star will give viewers a glimpse into how 15-year-old Prince William perceived and overcame his mother’s devastating death.

Rufus starred alongside Fflyn Edwards, who played young Prince Harry.

As well as the aftermath of Diana’s death, the unforgettable moment William and Harry, who was 12 at the time, both walked behind their mother’s coffin in the funeral procession.

The Crown season 6, part 1, is available to stream on Netflix now.

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