Dominic West has claimed that King Charles gave him the green light to appear in The Crown. West said he had tried to resign from his role as ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, fearing that his role as Charles in the controversial Netflix series would represent a conflict of interest.
According to West, he received a letter from the King’s private secretary, turning down his resignation.
“It was, ‘You do what you like, you’re an actor. It’s nothing to do with us,’” West said of the letter’s contents. “I think that’s probably how [King Charles] regards it.”
However, it is understood that the reply offered no specific guidance or opinion either way.
West portrays the then Prince of Wales in the 1990s, in storylines that cover his marriage breakdown, his televised confession to adultery, and the infamous “Tampongate” phone call.
Yet, according to the actor, the king and his wife Camilla were relaxed about his involvement.
The queen consort, he told Radio Times, jokingly addressed him as “Your Majesty” at a party last year.
West has been a Prince’s Trust ambassador for over a decade and said he had met King Charles on a number of occasions.
“I’ve been in a line to shake his hand a few times and it’s fascinating. It’s very useful to meet the character you’re playing, obviously,” he said.
He also described the funeral of Queen Elizabeth and surrounding events as a “gold mine” for research.
He said of the king: “I’ve always really liked him, and I think that was enhanced in most people’s eyes by the funeral, his involvement in it, and his accession, particularly the unguarded moments, which were really endearing and so different from the Queen.
“‘That bloody pen.’ My affection for him has grown even more.”
He also believes the series is sympathetic to Camilla Parker Bowles, as she was during the 1990s.
“The research showed me how badly Camilla was treated,” West said. “I don’t think that would happen today. It happened for many reasons, one of them being she’s a woman.”