Call it a royal inheritance: “The Crown” is pulling from its own ranks to cast teenage Prince William in the final seasons of the hit Netflix drama.
After searching far and wide for a young actor to fill the role, producers have found someone closer to home: Senan West, the 13-year-old son of Dominic West, who’s taking over from Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles in the fifth and six seasons.
In his first on-screen appearance, the teen will play “a slightly older Prince William, portraying him as he begins to mature into a young man,” Variety reports. Meanwhile, casting information about who will assume the role of young Prince Harry has yet to be announced.
“It’s believed the young actor’s audition, submitted via tape by his agent, caught the attention of the show’s producers,” the outlet claimed.
The younger West will make his debut in the final episodes of the forthcoming season, which is expected to hit the streaming service in November 2022, while his father will be featured more prominently.
Joining them are newcomers Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana, Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret and Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip, while Imelda Staunton has long been confirmed to take the throne from Emmy-winner Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II. Jonny Lee Miller is also set to make an appearance as Prime Minister John Major, while “The Kite Runner” actor Khalid Abdalla will portray the doomed Dodi Fayed, who died in the infamous Paris car crash with Diana.
The next chapter of “The Crown” will reportedly propel the drama into the 1990s and chronicle the end of Prince Charles and Diana’s marriage and her eventual death in 1997, which took place when William was just 15 years old.
Filming of the upcoming season is currently underway, as photos of the cast and crew in full royal regalia have begun to make the internet rounds. Fans were particularly thrilled by paparazzi images that circulated earlier this month of Debicki in character, wearing Diana’s so-called “revenge dress.”
Despite previously announcing that its fifth season would be its last, showrunner Peter Morgan reversed course last year and announced that the series would extend its run and conclude with a sixth season.
While the creators have yet to reveal just how close “The Crown” will inch to the present day, the final seasons will avoid covering any current royal drama and presumably leave off somewhere in the early 2000s.
Netflix likely is keen to keep “The Crown” around as long as possible, as the show delivered a clean sweep of all seven drama categories, including the prize for Outstanding Drama Series, at the Emmys this year— a first in the history of the awards show.