Prince Philip was furious over his portrayal on Netflix’s The Crown, and according to an expert wanted to take legal action. The Duke of Edinburgh, who died on April 9 2021, was played by actors Matt Smith and Jonathan Pryce in the show, which has drawn outrage from commentators for its portrayal of the Royal Family. Netflix has repeatedly insisted the show is a “fictionalised dramatisation” of real events.
In The Crown’s second season, a 16-year-old Philip is shown being involved in an incident at his boarding school, which meant he could not join his family in Germany for half-term break.
As a result, Philip’s sister Cecilie, who is pregnant with her fourth child, says she will be forced to fly to London to attend a wedding with her family.
In the show, Cecilie was shown being killed in a plane crash, and was depicted as having given birth during the flight as her baby’s body was found alongside her in the plane’s wreckage.
In real life, the 26-year-old was killed in a plane crash in 1937 along with her husband and their two young sons when their plane hit a chimney during foggy weather in Ostend, Belgium.
Netflix’s portrayal of the funeral showed Philip’s father tell the future Duke of Edinburgh: “I’m surprised he dare show himself here.
“Had it not been for Philip and his indiscipline she would never have taken that flight.”
Royal historian and author Hugo Vickers told The Sunday Times Philip was “so upset” at the portrayal he considered legal action.
He said: “I know Prince Philip consulted his lawyer about it, to ask ‘What can I do about it?’
“He was very upset about the way that was portrayed. He was human. He could be hurt like anybody else.”
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Dickie Arbiter, former press secretary to The Queen, was quoted by The Sun as stating: “Coming just weeks after the nation laid Her Majesty to rest next to Prince Philip, this is very distasteful and, quite frankly, cruel rubbish.
“The truth is that Penny was a long-time friend of the whole family. Netflix are not interested in people’s feelings.”
Ingrid Seward, author of royal biographies including ‘Prince Philip Revealed’ and editor of Majesty magazine, also called the decision “in exceedingly bad taste”.