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Will’s story: From Sheffield Children’s to The Crown

Will at The Crown premiere
11 December 2022
Will in hospitalIf you’ve been enjoying The Crown recently, you might be interested to know that the new series has a rather special Sheffield Children’s connection – step forward Will Powell, or should we say Prince Harry!
Back in 2011, at just 21 months old, Will was diagnosed with leukaemia. He required daily chemotherapy, which his parents administered at home for the next three and a half years.
After a total of 27 operations, Will finally entered remission in July 2014, and was then given the all-clear. At the time his dad Andy said: “Throughout everything he was a superstar – our little boy never complained once.”
Moving on eight years Will has moved into a different sort of stardom, as he was cast as the young Prince Harry in The Crown.
The series follows the recent history of the British Royal Family, with the recently released series five focusing on the 1990s.
It all started when Will’s mum Michelle spotted a casting call for Prince William. She got in touch with the producers to say that they didn’t have a William, but they might well have a Harry!
Andy then picks up the story: “Will was asked to provide a self-tape at first. He got to the last four, then two, and then finally he had an interview with the casting director via Skype. The next day we got the news that he’d been successful!
“He was treated like a star from day one. A big car picked him up and took him to London for a medical, and then myself and Will were taken to a hotel where we stayed for three days during which he filmed his first scenes. Several other days of filming followed at different locations. He was hooked!”
Then came the wait while the series was produced and edited, but finally the big day came.
Andy said: “We were bursting with excitement! We had to wait until the evening of the launch day to watch as we were driving back from the premiere in London. We binge watched until we had seen all of Will’s scenes.
“The premiere was incredible; we were treated like royalty! We mixed with the stars of stage and screen, and Will took it all in his stride. He even signed his first autographs!”
It turns out Will isn’t the only superstar in the family.
After hearing the leukaemia all-clear following three years of treatment at Sheffield Children’s, Andy and a cousin decided to say thank you in an incredible way. Over the next five Christmases, with the help of a team of volunteers, they raised an incredible £52,000 for The Children’s Hospital Charity by collecting used festive trees across South Yorkshire and Derbyshire.
Andy added: “It is highly likely that without the unwavering determination and care of the people at Sheffield Children’s, Will might not be here to enjoy this incredible life experience. We as a family thank the team from the bottom of our hearts. They are such an incredible group of people.”

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