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NY Post
New York Post
16 Dec 2023

NextImg:Did Dominic West read Prince Harry’s memoir ‘Spare’ before starring in ‘The Crown?’

Prince Harry’s bombshell memoir “Spare” hit the bookshelves this past January — just months before “The Crown” dropped its sixth and final season.

Now, actor Dominic West — who played Prince (Now King) Charles on the Netflix royal drama — has revealed that he ran to pick up a copy of the autobiography once it came out.

The British star, 54, divulged that he used the Duke of Sussex’s words to impact his performance on the show — calling the book a “gift.”

“I bought it immediately, and I think it did slightly affect the way we played that key scene where he wakes Harry up,” the “Wire” actor explained to Variety recently.

He went on: “I’ve been reading every newspaper article or journalistic article on him since I got the job.”

“In a way, this was a gift that he was in the headlines every day when he was becoming king — like getting irritated by the fountain pen,” West said. “In the cold, formal exterior of this guy, I tried to get those little tells.”

The “Affair” alum noted that “Spare” heavily influenced his acting in one particular scene of “The Crown” — the moment where Charles informed Harry that his mother Princess Diana died in 1997 in the early hours of the morning.

“Spare” was released on Jan. 10. AP

The “Invictus Games” founder penned in his book about the tragedy: “Pa didn’t hug me. He wasn’t great at showing emotions under normal circumstances. But his hand did fall once more on my knee and he said, ‘It’s going to be okay.'”

In the TV series, West did just that — put his palm on a young Harry’s knee when he went to wake him up to tell him about Diana’s passing.

West’s need to grab “Spare” to help out his acting gig is in stark contrast to “The Crown” creator Peter Morgan, who opted not to scan the book when working on the last season.

West portrayed Prince (now King) Charles on the royal drama. Netflix

Morgan told Variety in October that he hadn’t “read a word of it.” He added, “Not that I wouldn’t be interested. But I didn’t want his voice to inhabit my thinking too much. I’ve got a lot of sympathy with him, a lot of sympathy. But I didn’t want to read his book.”

Another real-life event that influenced the final season was the September 2022 death and funeral of Queen Elizabeth.

Dominic West as Prince Charles and Olivia Williams as Camilla Parker Bowles in season six of “The Crown.” ©Netflix/Courtesy Everett Collection

Season six even features a scene where the Queen (played by Imelda Staunton) plans her own procession and burial.

West also stated to Variety how the final season was “very much affected by the Queen’s funeral.”

He continued: “I realized it when I read the episode. Part of the reason Peter wanted to split this season into two is the incredibly dominating story of Diana is, sort of, put to bed, and we realize that what this whole show has been about is Elizabeth. Peter goes very much back to her, full circle, in the end.” 

Part one of season six premiered on Nov. 16 while the second segment dropped on Dec. 14. The first slice dealt with the aftermath of Diana’s death while part two dove into the aging monarch’s reign into the 21st century.