The Crown star Jason Watkins shares why he found filming The Crown series three so difficult

He's starring in the upcoming third season

jason watkins stars in the crown
(Image credit: WireImage/Getty)

A star of the third season of The Crown has opened up about how he found filming particularly emotional.

Jason Watkins - who starred in BBC's Line of Duty - says he found filming scenes surrounding the Aberfan disaster difficult, following the death of his daughter.

In 1966, there was collapse of a colliery spoil tip in the Welsh village of Aberfan, which killed 144 people, many children.

The actor, who plays Prime Minister Harold Wilson in The Crown, told Lorraine this morning, "It's an incredibly moving film, because each episode [of The Crown] is a film in itself - we filmed not far from Aberfan.”

Episode four of the new season features scenes based around the coal-tip disaster, which killed 116 children and 28 adults.

Jason explained that filming the episode was so difficult because his daughter Maude passed away eight years ago.

He said, “The care and attention that was taken by everyone in production. And people probably know I lost a child.

"Me and my wife Clara lost Maude in 2011, so to go and have an episode about the loss of a child was very difficult.I think, above anyone else, I wanted to make it in the right way. It helps us to remember what happened.

"I'm very proud to be part of that, no matter how difficult it was."

Jason and his wife Clara Francis lost their two-year-old daughter, Maude, to sepsis.

jason watkins and clara francis

When Maude first showed signs of sickness, Jason and Clara thought she had flu so took her to the GP and A&E, but were dismissed.

The couple put Maude to bed that evening and were woken up the next morning by their older daughter saying she couldn’t wake up her sister.

The pair share children Bessie and Gilbert and Jason has two older sons, Pip and Freddie, from his first marriage.

The actor has previously spoken about his grief and is a patron of Child Bereavement UK.

Last month, Jason posted a photo on Twitter to mark Maude's birthday.

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He said, "Maudie - here she is. Full of joy. She was so happy. I look at this and just can’t believe she’s gone.

"We have to remember her like this, like she was, however painful."

Lizzie Thomson is a regular contributor to woman&home, and also contributes to, Ideal Home, Culture Trip, and Evening Standard, covering all things lifestyle.