6 Fascinating (Factual & Fictional) Prince Philip Reveals From ‘The Crown’

The Crown - Matt Smith as Prince Philip

With the sad passing of Prince Philip at age 99, TV fans will inevitably think of scenes involving the Duke of Edinburgh in The Crown.

While the Netflix show maybe isn’t exactly factually accurate, it certainly provides a fascinating insight into the British royal family…especially as Queen Elizabeth and Co. have managed to keep a lot of their private lives locked away behind palace doors.

Portrayed in the series first by Matt Smith (Doctor Who), then Tobias Menzies (Outlander), and soon to be Jonathan Pryce (Game of Thrones), Prince Philip’s storylines have uncovered a side of him some viewers might not have known before.

Below, we’re taking a look at some of the more interesting reveals from The Crown‘s iteration of Prince Philip and addressing just how accurate they are.

The Crown, Seasons 1-4, Streaming now, Netflix

The Crown, season 1, Matt Smith as Prince Philip

He Didn't Want to Kneel?

In Season 1, one of the biggest moments of tension between Elizabeth (Claire Foy) and Philip is his desire to forgo kneeling to her at the coronation ceremony. Philip justified his desire to deviate from the tradition based on the concept that she was his wife and that a man mustn’t kneel to his wife. Ultimately, he reverses his request and does kneel to Elizabeth, but in reality, this likely never happened. It did make for some good onscreen drama though. In actuality though, he did request to retain the Mountbatten name for his children and himself, which was somewhat adopted as any heirs not bearing royal titles could use the surname Mountbatten-Windsor.

The crown season 2 matt smith claire foy

The Affair

In Season 2, it is implied that Philip is unfaithful to Elizabeth and after she finds a photo of the ballerina Galina Ulanova (Aliya Tanikpaeva) in his belongings. Although the pair work through the matter, the show’s depiction of Prince Philip as an adulterous man isn’t accurate as there have been no official recordings of such activity.

The Crown Season 2, Matt Smith as Prince Philip

Nazi Ties

Season 2 uncovers more about Prince Philip’s past, including the tragedy of his sister Cecilie’s (Leonie Benesch) death. She perished in a plane crash while traveling to a wedding, and while show’s version isn’t hailed as accurate, it did occur. But what’s most fascinating is the reveal that Cecilie was a member of the Nazi party, creating a disconcerting link between the Crown and the Third Reich, which is entirely true.

the crown season 3 princess alice

His Relationship With Alice

Prince Philip’s mother Princess Alice (Jane Lapotaire) makes an appearance in Season 3 when she comes to live at Buckingham Palace. Depicted as having an estranged relationship, Prince Philip’s mother did live her adult life in and out of institutions for mental health issues. Settling in Greece, she served as a Greek Orthodox nun as part of the Christian Sisterhood of Martha and Mary, until coming to live with Philip. Their estrangement was relatively accurate onscreen as it was in real life, but the mother and son remained close until her death in 1969.

the crown season 3 erin doherty

Anne Is His Favorite

As part of Season 4, Queen Elizabeth is horrified to learn that Margaret Thatcher (Gillian Anderson) favors one of her children over the other. She’s shocked to learn that it’s the same for Prince Philip who announced Princess Anne (Erin Doherty) is his favorite child. He then informs Elizabeth that he believes she has a favorite but won’t reveal who. While the pair may have had a close bond in real life, to make a claim that she was a favorite child would be presumptive at best.

the crown season 4 philip diana

Interfering With Princess Diana & Prince Charles' Marriage?

In Season 4, Philip is immediately enchanted by Diana (Emma Corrin), but the feelings begin to fade as her and Charles’ marriage breaks down. Eventually, he and the Queen sit down with the young couple to discuss the future of their marriage, hoping to reason with them into repairing the situation which finds Charles and Diana both engaging in extra-marital affairs. Philip and Diana reportedly corresponded through letters about the state of her marriage in real life.