Did The Queen watch The Crown? Royal Family reactions

Stop searching - we have all the answers

Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth in The Crown, and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll
(Image credit: Netflix/Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo/Alamy/Future)

Of all the questions raised by The Crown on Netflix, it's the one everyone needs the answer to! Did she, or didn’t she?

News of The Crown rocketing back into Netflix’s top 10 TV shows didn’t come as a surprise, as fans all over the world shared in grief over the death of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth ll. The series already had the ability to induce gasps in audiences, prompting them to pause their viewing and frantically search the events depicted - questioning whether they really happened and how they really transpired. This aside, the question everyone really needed to know was; did the Queen and other members of the Royal Family watch The Crown? Read on to find possible answers to this hugely important query.

The resurgence of interest in the series has prompted intrigue over the talented actors and actresses taking on key roles over the years. We have a The Crown cast guide, taking you through the important players from season 1 through to season 5. Plus a exhaustive location guide showing where The Crown was filmed - and whether can you visit the stately sets in real life. The wait for the new series is nearly over, with a confirmed release month for The Crown season 5. The Kate Middleton casting for the upcoming new series has also caused quite the commotion, dividing royal fans over whether the right choice was made.  

Did The Queen watch The Crown?

The Queen did watch The Crown, according to actor Matt Smith - who portrayed Prince Philip in seasons 1 & 2 of the show.

Metro reported that during an interview with The Today Show, Smith asserted that Queen Elizabeth would watch the show every Sunday. He said “she used to watch it on a projector on a Sunday night apparently”, suggesting he got his information from friends who had attended a dinner where the former Monarch and her husband were present.  

Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth ll

(Image credit: John Henshall/Alamy)

Similarly, Bustle reported the Queen had been encouraged to watch the series by Prince Edward, and wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex. A source close to the Royals at the time said “Edward and Sophie love The Crown,” adding “It has been a longstanding arrangement that they drive to Windsor at the weekend to join the Queen for an informal supper while watching TV or a film. They have a Netflix account and urged her to watch it with them. Happily, she really liked it, although obviously there were some depictions of events that she found too heavily dramatised.”

They continued to report that Vanessa Kirby - who portrayed Princess Margaret in The Crown seasons 1 & 2 - had a friend who bumped into Princess Beatrice at a party. Kirby’s friend began chatting with the Princess about the show, excited to deliver the news that they were friends with somebody starring in it. Princess Beatrice was said to have responded with “well, my granny likes it”, seemingly offering confirmation the Queen had indeed seen it.

Did Prince Philip watch The Crown? 

It is thought that Prince Philip did not watch The Crown, but heard about a malicious scene from the Netflix series that caused him deep upset.  

The scene in question concerned events surrounding the death of Prince Philip’s sister, Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark who died in 1937. She was just 26-years-old at the time of her death, and the show depicted that Prince Philip’s father blamed him for her death, which Royal sources clearly refute. Royal experts claimed the Duke of Edinburgh to be so hurt by the portrayal of these events, that he refused to watch the drama, urging the Queen to follow. 

In the same interview where Matt Smith put forward evidence that the Queen had watched some, if not all of The Crown, he also provided strong evidence that Prince Philip refused to watch it. He told of the friend dining with the Royal, plucking up the courage to ask if he had seen it, finally asking a few courses into the meal “Philip, I have to ask, have you watched The Crown?” The answer sounds very likely for the Prince, who is alleged to simply have responded “don’t be ridiculous”.

Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh

(Image credit: WPA Pool/Getty)

Does Prince Charles watch The Crown? 

From comments made about his portrayal in the series, it appears that Prince Charles does watch The Crown, and is not at all happy with his depiction.

It was reported by the Daily Mail, that when Charles met with politicians in Edinburgh last year before the state opening, he made introductions by saying, "Hello, nice to meet you all. I'm nowhere near how they portray me on Netflix”. 

Scottish politician Anas Sarwar who relayed the Prince's words, went on to express an opinion on the big reveal, saying “I thought that was a really interesting way of how you describe yourself”. However, knowing that private conversations held during such events are not to be revealed to the public, Sarwar wouldn’t offer any further comment. Instead, he concluded “I'm going to be in so much trouble for this because I don't think you are meant to tell private conversations!”

Prince Charles

(Image credit: Marc Macdonald/Alamy)

Does Prince William watch The Crown? 

It is widely reported that Prince William does not watch The Crown, but has expressed opinions over events he heard will be portrayed in the upcoming season 5.  

According to Marie Claire, the Prince is “frustrated” by the decision to lend an entire episode to coverage of his mother’s infamous interview with Martin Bashir. The 1995 Panorama interview covered Diana’s unhappy marriage to Prince Charles, and struggles with her mental health and eating disorders. In 2021, an inquiry was held into the allegedly dubious methods Basir used to obtain the interview - dampening his shining career.

Prince William, The Prince of Wales

(Image credit: Allstar Picture Library Ltd/Alamy)

William was 13-years-old at the time of the interview, and his Eton housemaster found him in tears after it aired. Marie Claire suggested the Prince had strong words against the BBC, saying the interview contributed “significantly to her fear, paranoia, and isolation”. He added “but what saddens me most, is that if the BBC had properly investigated the complaints and concerns first raised in 1995, my mother would have known that she had been deceived. She was failed not just by a rogue reporter, but by leaders at the BBC who looked the other way rather than asking the tough questions.”

Does Prince Harry watch The Crown? 

Yes, it has been confirmed that Prince Harry has seen some parts of The Crown, and has commented on it publicly.  

In the same interview with The Today Show where Matt Smith revealed whether The Queen and Prince Philip watch the show, he appeared to offer confirmation that Prince Harry had seen it. Smith said “I met Harry once, at polo, which sounds a bit grand, but it wasn’t that grand. And he walked up to me and went, ‘Granddad’”. He added “he watched the show! Well, I can’t claim to know if he watches it currently, but he watched a bit of it then”.

Harry also spoke about watching the series on a segment of The Late Late Show With James Corden. He said “they don’t pretend to be news. It’s fiction. But it’s loosely based on the truth”. He continued “I'm way more comfortable with The Crown than I am seeing the stories written about my family or my wife or myself. Because it's the difference between – that [The Crown] is obviously fiction, take it how you will, but this [the press] is being reported as fact because you're supposedly news. I have a real issue with that”.

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Lucy Wigley
TV writer - contributing

Lucy is a multi-award nominated writer and blogger with six years’ experience writing about entertainment, parenting and family life. Lucy has contributed content to PopSugar and moms.com. In the last three years, she has transformed her passion for streaming countless hours of television into specialising in entertainment writing. There is now nothing she loves more than watching the best shows on television and telling you why you should watch them.