EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: The Crown searches for actor to play Prince William

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Netflix drama as search for actor to play a young Prince William in next series of The Crown hits 11th hour

Netflix’s big-budget royal drama The Crown has been a money-spinner for the streaming giant, but are its increasingly controversial plotlines leading to casting problems?

For I hear it was still advertising for an actor to play a teenage Prince William as late as last Friday, even though his scenes are due to be shot this month. 

The role will be a highly contentious one, because it will involve William’s reaction to the breakdown of his mother Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles.

Casting: The Crown was advertising for an actor to play a Prince William last Friday, though his scenes are due to be shot this month. Pictured: Princess Diana, William and Harry in 1995

Drama: The role will involve William’s reaction to the breakdown of his mother Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles. Pictured: Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana

The series will also portray how the BBC’s disgraced reporter Martin Bashir convinced Diana to film her explosive Panorama interview. 

The Duke of Cambridge has begged for the interview not to be shown ever again.

‘A lot of parents would think twice before letting their son appear in such a drama,’ a source tells me. ‘It’s going to be a harrowing role that will create a major backlash.’

Famous moment: The series will also portray how the BBC’s disgraced reporter Martin Bashir convinced Diana to film her explosive Panorama interview (pictured)

The job description said Netflix was seeking: ‘A boy aged between 13 and 15 years old to play 13-year-old Prince William in the next series… talented, intelligent and sensitive boy who can rise to the challenge of playing this famous character alongside leading British acting talent.’

The part was previously played by Timothee Sambor, who’s 11. Dominic West will be Charles, to Elizabeth Debicki’s Diana. 

A Netflix spokesman insists: ‘We are well into the process and all is well. Child casting in general just takes longer.’

WHY MILLEN HAS NO DESIGNS ON MARRIAGE

Design queen Karen Millen has revealed she will never wed her long-term boyfriend, Ben Charnaud.

‘We’ve been together ten years but we won’t get married,’ she tells me at a Mayfair party. 

‘I commit to someone and that’s it — I don’t have to prove it. Besides, most people I know who got married are now divorced.’

No wedding bells? Design queen Karen Millen has revealed she will never wed her long-term boyfriend, Ben Charnaud (both pictured in April 2019)

Millen, 60, who sold her eponymous High-Street brand in 2004, now runs interior design company Homemonger, with the help of Australian-born Ben.

‘He did want to marry me, but he’s resigned himself to the fact that I’m not the marrying type,’ adds Karen, who has three children with ex-business partner, Kevin Stanford.

‘I’ve never put a ring on it, and I don’t intend to now.’

Royal biographer Gyles Brandreth amused guests at Petworth Literary Festival in West Sussex with his favourite anecdote about Prince Philip. 

A courtier was alarmed when the Queen and Philip were forced to witness The Full Monty striptease during a Royal Variety Performance. 

As the 18 naked actors took a bow, the Duke of Edinburgh muttered to the courtier: ‘You needn’t worry. She’s been to Papua New Guinea — she’s seen it all before.’

RECIPE FOR JOY! TV CHEF LORRAINE SERVES UP A SECOND WEDDING

Tv chef Lorraine Pascale’s marriage has already reached new heights.

The former model, 48, exchanged vows with businessman Dennis O’Brien, 45, on the top level of The Gherkin skyscraper, which towers over the City of London at 591ft. 

They had already held a smaller ceremony earlier this year at Chelsea Old Town Hall.


Wedding: TV chef Lorraine Pascale, 48, exchanged vows with businessman Dennis O’Brien, 45, on the top level of The Gherkin skyscraper, which towers over the City of London at 591ft

Special day: ‘Loved celebrating our wedding properly,’ says Pascale, who’s pictured above with her daughter, the Charlie’s Angels star Ella Balinska

‘Loved celebrating our wedding properly,’ says Pascale.

‘Our June register office wedding numbers were greatly reduced due to restrictions. So we did it again with everyone.’

Pasacle was previously married to Ella’s aristocratic father, the Polish musician Count Kazimierz Balinski-Jundzill.

Repeated references to racing manager Harry Herbert — the new husband of TV chef Clodagh McKenna — as being a godson of the Queen have raised eyebrows among his friends and family. 

Particularly as the claim also appeared on the website of an agency claiming to represent Herbert, H Talent Management. 

When I draw this to Herbert’s attention, his spokesman makes clear: ‘Harry is not a godson of HM The Queen. However, his brother Geordie [the Earl of] Carnarvon is her godson.’ 

The spokesman adds: ‘Harry has no connection whatsoever with H Talent Management and we are trying to contact them to request they remove all information on him from their site.’

ONLY FOOLS AND TRACEY SAY NO TO DEL BOY

Tracey Emin reveals that her greatest regret is turning down the chance of a cameo appearance in Only Fools And Horses.

‘Me and my mum were in Margate, sitting on a bench eating some jellied eels, when the scout person came and asked us if we would be extras,’ the Turner Prize-winning artist says.

‘How deranged was I?’: Tracey Emin (pictured in September 2019) reveals that her greatest regret is turning down the chance of a cameo appearance in Only Fools And Horses

Emin turned down the offer because ‘I thought I was too good to be an extra in Fools And Horses. How deranged was I?’

Viewers were no doubt deprived of a classic episode in which Del Boy turns his hand to modern art and seeks to emulate Emin’s sale of her unmade bed for £2.5 million.

When in Rome… I hear Boris and Carrie enjoyed a romantic dinner away from the hubbub of the G20 summit — and rounded off their pasta meal at a restaurant with a digestif called Apolide, which translates to ‘stateless person’. 

A spokesman for the restaurant says: ‘The Prime Minister must not have escaped the subtle irony associated with the name of the wine.’

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