The Crown star Dominic West reveals trick he used to look more like King Charles

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Dominic West used “ear plumpers” to look more like King Charles while filming Netflix’s royal drama The Crown, the actor has revealed.

The 54-year-old English actor will reprise his role as the former Prince of Wales for the show’s sixth and final season, which promises to sensitively cover the death of Diana as well as Charles’ second marriage to now-Queen Camilla.

While West wore these “plumpers” – or custom-made plastic pieces that “made my ears go out” – during season five, he said the hair and make-up department “dispensed with” them for the show’s latest season after ultimately deciding “they didn’t make much of a difference”.

He explained: “I used to have little plumpers that made my ears go out and we kept looking at it because it was quite a faff and they were quite uncomfortable and they were made specially and actually, they didn’t make much difference.

“They didn’t make me look any more like Charles, unfortunately. So again, we sort of relaxed about that and said, let’s not bother with those,” the BAFTA winner added.

Commenting on the physical similarities between himself and Charles, 74, who on Tuesday delivered his first-ever King’s Speech in Parliament, West said they both have a long torso and short legs but “that’s where our resemblance ends”.

Dominic West and Olivia Williams in ‘The Crown’ (Netflix)
Dominic West and Olivia Williams in ‘The Crown’ (Netflix)

Crediting the costume department, West said: “You need really good tailoring to look good with that sort of physique and he does and I did too.”

He also gave The Crown fans a sense of what to expect from the show’s final season, which will be released in two parts, as the Netflix drama chronicles “the worst period of Charles’ life” as he tries to come to terms with Diana’s passing “and trying to help his sons mourn”.

West continued: “So that’s the first two thirds of the season, and then the last third is much happier for him as it ends with his marriage to Camilla (played by Olivia Williams), which was unquestioningly the best wedding I’ve ever had.”

Describing how their on-screen nuptials were recreated, he added: “We were in York Minster with 500 extras bowing.”

West also commented on empathising with Charles as the father of two boys, explaining that he’s always “trying to fight Charles’s corner” during confrontational scenes with the actor who plays Prince William (Rufus Kampa) in the wake of Diana’s death.

“I am a father of two boys that age and I think I’m always trying to fight Charles’s corner and I’m always trying to present him in a good light and I don’t always succeed in doing that, but I think in the latter half of the season where William is giving him a really hard time and he’s very angry with him and won’t talk to him and he can’t get through to him, to his son, I can understand how that feels,” he reflected.

“I don’t, fortunately, have that with my boys yet, but it’s another way in which Charles is being punished and I think all parents are punished eventually by their children,” West said.

Ahead the season six premiere, The Crown creator Peter Morgan responded to critics of the show, including Dame Judi Dench and former prime minister John Major, suggesting they “probably feel rather stupid” every time a new installment is released.

The Crown season six part one will be released on Netflix on 16 November, followed by part two on 14 December.