The Crown star Dominic West admits he’s ‘always been in love’ with Princess Diana

The Crown star Dominic West has opened up about his love for the late Princess of Wales.

The British actor plays King Charles III, then Prince Charles, in the fifth season of the popular Netflix drama. In a new interview with Variety, West spoke about his childhood love for Princess Diana, despite not knowing much about the historical events depicted in the series.

“I’ve always been a royal watcher and I’ve always been in love with Princess Diana since I was 10 when they got engaged. God, I was in love with her as a boy,” he told Variety.

Because he was still young, West explained that he was “dimly aware” of the happenings of the royal family during this time. However, this allowed him to sign on to the series with a fresh outlook.

“But during the ’90s, I’d missed most of this stuff,” he added. “I was dimly aware of it, but so I hadn’t really come to any conclusions about the events we’ve shown in season five. So I was sort of coming in fresh to it.”

The fifth season of The Crown follows the British royal family from 1991 to 1997, ending before the death of Princess Diana. The late princess was famously killed on 31 August 1997 during a fatal car crash in Paris, France.

The latest season, which was released on 9 November, is the first season of The Crown to be released following the death of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on 9 April 2021, and the death of Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 2022.

While speaking to Variety, West revealed that he watched nonstop news coverage of the Queen’s death, and shared his thoughts about that viral moment of King Charles III signing a book with a leaky pen.

Dominic West as Prince Charles and Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales in The Crown (Netflix)
Dominic West as Prince Charles and Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales in The Crown (Netflix)

He told the outlet “it was immediate.”

“I think that is the sort of the power of the crown in the UK, which I don’t think anybody realised because we haven’t had a new monarch for 70 years and it’s interesting,” he continued. “The show is not about individuals, it’s about the crown, and when that transition happened, you saw how that passes from one in respect to who they are, and it was fascinating.”

West added how “the queen never showed any emotion for 70 years and Charles did in the first hour.”

“I mean, did you see the bloody pen? I love the guy. He wears his emotions on his sleeve, and he’s like his father, with very quick anger that sort of flares up and then disappears,” he said.

Shortly after the Queen’s death, King Charles visited Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland. There, as he was signing the visitor’s book, the ink from the pen appeared to drip. In the clip, the King could be heard saying, “I can’t bear this bloody thing…every stinking time,” after standing up in frustration.

Dominic West isn’t the only The Crown star to express his love for Princess Diana. Elizabeth Debicki – who plays the late princess in season five – spoke about how recreating Diana’s “revenge dress” helped her step into her own power.

“It fascinated me how entranced people were with that dress,” Debicki told Entertainment Weekly prior to the show’s release. “When it became known that I had the part, I received these text messages saying congratulations, [but] there was also a huge amount of text messages about the revenge dress. Do you get to wear the revenge dress?’ ‘Oh my God, you get to wear the revenge dress!’”

The Tenant star added that wearing the outfit felt “very significant and quite powerful” for her, but it also “provoked something” inside her as an actor.

“I can’t really explain it,” she said. “It’s pretty incredible that a dress would represent a moment in history, or that this human’s life would represent so much and become so iconic. So that was a big day on set for me!”