‘The Crown’ Wades Into the Dominic West-Lily James Drama With a Casting Choice for the Ages

Laura Bradley
·2-min read
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

It’s unclear what forces of nature brought us here, be it a genius act of stunt casting or a supremely funny cosmic joke. But either way, Dominic West—who recently distributed hand-written notes about the state of his marriage after being photographed seemingly kissing Lily James—is in final talks to join The Crown as the famous royal cheater Prince Charles. Let’s take a moment to appreciate this beautiful moment of art imitating life, shall we?

Prince Charles infamously had an affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles during his marriage to Princess Diana. West would play the royal in The Crown’s final two seasons, per The Hollywood Reporter.

But the timing of this news could hardly be more fascinating. Last week West, who is married, was photographed getting cozy in Rome over lunch with Lily James—his co-star on the upcoming BBC One miniseries The Pursuit of Love. Soon after the Affair alum and his wife, landscape designer Catherine FitzGerald, posed for photos outside their home in London and, in a delightfully bizarre move, gave reporters a hand-written statement: “Our marriage is strong and we’re very much still together. Thank you. Catherine and Dominic.”

The display created more questions than it answered—and now, with West set to act out one of the most infamous affairs in history, this is all starting to feel a bit like a cosmic joke. At the very least, this does seem to guarantee that the state of West’s marriage—and his relationship to James—will remain a topic of interest for the foreseeable future. (This might be undesirable news for Lily James, who has reportedly canceled media appearances in the wake of the photographs’ release.)

The Crown, meanwhile, will be sticking around for a little longer than expected as well. This summer the show’s creator, Peter Morgan, reversed course on his decision to truncate the show at five seasons; it will now run for six seasons as planned, with Lesley Manville set to play the final Princess Margaret, Imelda Staunton as Queen Elizabeth, and Elizabeth Debicki playing Princess Diana.

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