‘The Crown’s’ Dominic West And Prince Harry Were Once Close Friends And Walked To The South Pole Together

The latest season of The Crown just dropped on Netflix, and the newest stars are already getting praise for their portrayal of the British royal family. One star, Dominic West, has a personal connection to a real-life royal, but he explained why he chose not to use it. 

West And Harry Know Each Other ‘Pretty Well’

West, who plays King Charles circa-1990, got close with Prince Harry in 2013. The pair both participated in Walking With the Wounded’s charity race through Antarctica, striking up a friendship. 

2013 photo of Dominic West in an arctic coat looking over papers with Prince Harry in a similar coat
Prince Harry, patron of Team UK, with Dominic West during a kit weighing session ahead of the start of the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge 2013 expedition, Novo, Antarctica. (WWTW/PA Wire/Getty Images)

However, West said he chose not to call on Harry for any tips about his dad when it came time to prepare for his role on The Crown. “I didn’t think it was appropriate,” he told Entertainment Tonight while attending the show’s red carpet premiere. 

RELATED: Two Former British Prime Ministers Call ‘The Crown’ Out For ‘Complete And Utter Rubbish’ Historical Accuracy

The actor also admitted he and Harry aren’t exactly best friends. “I haven’t spoken to him for many years,” he shared. “We did walk to the South Pole together with a lot of wounded soldiers, so I got to know him pretty well.” 

Why He Offered To Stop Working With The Prince’s Trust

West didn’t talk to Harry about taking part in The Crown, but he let another member of the royal family know about his upcoming role: King Charles. “I just thought I would inform the Prince’s Trust that I was playing the part,” he said, referring to the king’s charitable organization. “And I felt they had a right to know that. So, that’s as far as it went.”

Some of that obligation no doubt comes from the fact that West is an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust. He even offered to quit working with them if the show was too much of a conflict of interest, but it didn’t come to that. “You can’t really resign. It’s not really a job,” he laughed. 

West’s Anxiety About The Role: ‘It Was Pretty Frightening’

West also discussed his fears about taking on such a controversial role and his own unpreparedness. “I remember the camera test and it was me and Elizabeth [Debicki, who plays Princess Diana],” the actor recalled. “We’re doing a test together and she immediately—it felt like it anyway—it felt like she had everything in place already and we were a couple of months off starting and I felt I hadn’t got anything.”

“Also, of course, you feel in front of a crew that’s been doing this for five years with two other casts and you think everyone’s going, ‘Dear,’” he joked. “So, it was pretty frightening.” Despite his fears about playing King Charles, West is already getting praise for his work on the show. Looks like he didn’t need any tips from Harry after all! 

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