A royal expert has revealed that an episode in season 2 of Netflix's The Crown left Prince Philip 'very upset' and wanting to sue to the show.
- An episode in season 2 of Netflix's hit royal-drama series, The Crown (opens in new tab), reportedly left Prince Philip very upset after the script suggested he was responsible for the death of his sister
- The scene was labelled “shockingly malicious” and left Prince Philip wanting to sue the show
- In other royal news (opens in new tab), a scene in The Crown Season 5 has viewers wondering what was in Princess Diana’s divorce settlement (opens in new tab)
While viewers understand that Netflix's The Crown is not a completely true portrayal of real life, with storylines being exaggerated for dramatic effect, this blurring between truth and historic fact has led to many controversies and upsets.
A royal expert has now revealed that the late Prince Philip consulted his lawyers after an episode from season 2 of the hit show blamed him for the shocking and tragic death of his sister, Princess Cecilie. The Prince also allegedly was left deeply “upset” over the depiction of his sister's death in a plane crash.
Speaking to The Sunday Times, Hugo Vickers (opens in new tab), a royal historian and author, 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.”
In November 1937, Princess Cecilie, then aged 26, had given birth mid-flight, but unfortunately, shortly after the ordeal, her plane crashed into a factory tower in Belgium. Her body, alongside that of her baby's, her husband's and two young sons', were found in the wreckage near Ostend.
Season 2 of The Crown suggested that Princess Cecilie was on board the life-changing flight to England in order to see her brother, Prince Philip then aged 16, after he had been prohibited from visiting her in Germany due to poor behaviour in school.
Adding to the already misplaced, blame-creating scene, The Crown then dramatised Cecilie’s funeral and showed Phillip and Cecilie's father, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, say, “I’m surprised he [Prince Philip] dare show himself here.
"Had it not been for Philip and his indiscipline she would never have taken that flight. It’s true, isn’t it boy? You’re the reason we’re all here burying my favourite child. Get him out of here.”
The imagined scenes were first broadcast in 2017 and did not have a fictional disclaimer.
When the episode first aired, royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith (opens in new tab) urged Netflix to apologise to the royal family over the scene. Speaking to The Daily Mail, she said “[Prince Philip] had nothing to do with his sister’s death… Cecilie did die in an air crash but that’s the only thing that was true. Everything else was invented in a shockingly malicious way.”
According to one of the Prince's closest friends, the storyline left Prince Philip "so upset." He also contacted lawyers at the Farrer & Co practice over the scenes, according to the Sunday Times, but did not pursue any action.
- Who plays Princess Diana in The Crown? Season 4 and 5 actresses (opens in new tab)
- Did Charles want the Queen to abdicate? Fact vs fiction in The Crown season 5 (opens in new tab)
- Who was Dodi Fayed's girlfriend before Diana? Introducing Kelly Fisher (opens in new tab)
- Who is Princess Diana’s friend Dr. James Colthurst and who plays him in The Crown? (opens in new tab)
- The Crown fans spot awkward blunder in season 5 - did you notice it? (opens in new tab)