Philip’s anger over ‘malicious’ episode of The Crown
The death of Prince Philip has renewed calls for a disclaimer to be added to The Crown amid reports Prince Philip was unhappy with the way he was often portrayed in the hit series.
Royal biographers Hugo Vickers and Sally Bedell Smith say Prince Philip was particularly upset over an episode of the show in which his father blamed the duke for the death of his sister in a plane crash.
He was also reportedly unhappy about being depicted as a serial philanderer who was involved in a sex scandal, and also for threatening Princess Diana in another episode.
Mr Vickers has been scathing of the series since it began. In November last year the royal historian said he had "watched each passing episode of The Crown with mounting horror and have dissected all 40 episodes in books charting the untruths the series contain."
"From the outset, The Crown has been full of not merely inaccuracies but clear and deliberate departures from the truth," he said.
"Prince Philip's treatment by the producers is particularly disgraceful. The drama claims that he refused to kneel at the Queen's Coronation, for example, that he became a notorious philanderer and that he had been accused by his father of being responsible for the death of his sister Cecile in a plane crash. Wrong, wrong and monstrously wrong."
Netflix has previously said it will not add a disclaimer to the series because the drama has always been presented as a work of fiction.
THE CROWN CAST HAIL PRINCE PHILIP 'THE MAN'
The actors who played the Duke of Edinburgh in the international smash hit The Crown TV series yesterday described Prince Philip simply as being "the man".
Matt Smith, who starred in the first two series of the big budget Netflix series, offered his condolences to the Queen and summed up the duke, as if almost in character.
He said: "Prince Philip was the man. And he knew it. 99 and out, but what an innings. And what style."
"Thank you for your service old chap - it won't be the same without you."
Smith portrayed Philip in the early days of their royal relationship including dramatised tensions in his marriage to the Queen played by Claire Foy.
He was then replaced by actor Tobias Menzies for series three and four of the Crown, opposite Olivia Colman as the Queen.
Menzies wrote on Twitter: "If I know anything about the Duke of Edinburgh I'm fairly sure he wouldn't want an actor who portrayed him on TV giving their opinion on his life, so I'll leave it to Shakespeare.
"'O good old man! how well in thee appears. The constant service of the antique world …' RIP."
A statement from the show, written by Peter Morgan, said: "Netflix, Left Bank Pictures, Sony Pictures Television and the production team on The Crown are deeply saddened to hear of the death of The Duke of Edinburgh.
"Our thoughts are with the royal family at this sad time."
The royal family never commented about the TV series but reportedly the Queen was not a fan of latter episodes, particularly how Smith's portrayal of the duke was shown as brutally unsympathetic towards his son Prince Charles.
"The queen realises that many who watch The Crown take it as an accurate portrayal of the royal family and she cannot change that," a senior courtier reportedly told British press.
"But I can convey that she was upset by the way Prince Philip is depicted as being a father insensitive to his son's wellbeing. She was particularly annoyed at a scene in which Philip has no sympathy for a plainly upset Charles while he is flying him home from Scotland. That simply did not happen."
The show's producers have always been at pains to point out the drama was never meant to be a documentary.
Oscar nominee Jonathan Pryce will take over the role of the Duke of Edinburgh for the fifth and six series of the show, which will be the last.
He will star opposite Imelda Staunton as the Queen.
Originally published as Philip's anger over 'malicious' episode of The Crown