Fans of “The Crown” have long wondered whether the British royal family ever watched the popular Netflix series based on their history and lives. While Matt Smith, who played a young Prince Philip in the show’s first two seasons, doesn’t have all the answers, this week he revealed what he knows about their viewing habits.
The actor appeared Thursday on NBC’s “Today,” where he shared a story about meeting Prince Harry.
Matt Smith, who played a young Prince Philip on “The Crown.”
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images
“He went up to me and he went, ‘granddad,’” said Smith, miming Harry extending his hand ― a reference to the actor’s role as Philip.
“He’d watched the show!” Smith said. “Well, I mean I can’t claim to know if he watches it currently, but he’d watched a bit of it then.” This anecdote prompted host Savannah Guthrie to ask for the “inside scoop” on whether other royal family members had seen it.
“I heard the queen had watched it,” Smith said. “And she used to watch it on a projector on a Sunday night.”
Queen Elizabeth II in 2021.
Though Smith didn’t disclose where he got his information, other reports have also said that Queen Elizabeth II, who died last week at 96, watched “The Crown.” The U.K. outlet British Heritage Travel cited a royal “insider” who said that the queen watched the series but added that she found some of it “heavily dramatized.” Vanessa Kirby, who played a young Princess Margaret, also said she heard through the grapevine that the queen liked the show.
Smith had a different story to tell when it came to the late Prince Philip.
“I know that Philip definitely didn’t,” Smith said, adding that a friend had attended a dinner with the royal and “couldn’t resist” asking if he watched it.
Philip then replied, “Don’t be ridiculous,” according to Smith.
“The Crown” announced last week that it would pause filming following the queen’s death.
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