According to The Hollywood Reporter, the statement reads as follows: ‘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 Duke of Edinburgh’s character has been dramatised in all four seasons of The Crown, first played by actor Matt Smith in seasons 1 and 2, followed most recently by Tobias Menzies in season 3 and 4, with Jonathan Pryce set to assume the role for season 5 and 6 of hit Netflix series.
Fans of the show have seen his character go through marriage to Princess Elizabeth, becoming a father as well as a portrayal of his own family history, including their exile from Greece and his relationship with his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, and how she came to be a nun living in Buckingham Palace before her death in 1969.
Back in 2017, Matt Smith told The Guardian that he attended a dinner hosted by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and reportedly asked the Duke, ‘Philip, I’m just wondering, because I have some friends who made The Crown, have you watched any?’ To which Philip reportedly stopped and glowered: ‘Don’t. Be. Ridiculous.’
Smith said he thought Philip was a ‘roguish, brilliant man’ adding, ‘And that’s what I love about him: he’s done what he wants, when he wants, how he wants, with whom he wants. He hasn’t asked permission. And his wife’s the Queen.’
Menzies also previously spoke about the joy of playing Prince Philip’s character to Deadline; ‘He’s enjoyably a debunker. He pokes at unnecessary pomp and circumstance, he’s funny. What Olivia [Colman] and I built with the texture and atmosphere of that marriage I also came to really like.’
Both actors have since released personal statements reacting to the royal’s death.
Matt Smith said, ‘I’d like to offer my condolences to Her Majesty the Queen and the royal family. 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.’
Meanwhile, Tobias Menzies tweeted, ‘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.’
Filming for The Crown season 5 is set to commence this summer.