The Crown’s Tobias Menzies reflects on Prince Philip’s death after playing the Queen’s husband for two seasons

The Crown fans will soon see another actor playing this iconic role

THE CROWN Netflix TV series with Tobias Menzies as Philip, Duke of Edinburgh
(Image credit: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo)

The Crown star Tobias Menzies has reflected on the sad passing of Prince Philip after playing the Queen’s beloved husband for two spellbinding seasons. 

The talented actor joined the cast of Netflix’s hit period drama in 2019 after a major cast change came into place from The Crown season 3. This saw Claire Foy and Matt Smith hand over the mantle of playing iconic royal couple Queen Elizabeth II and her consort Prince Philip to Oscar-winner Olivia Coleman and Tobias respectively. Many people might be questioning how accurate The Crown really is after some called for a fiction warning to be added amid concerns that viewers could mistake fictional events for fact. 

However, the cast changes help ensure the actors remain closer in age to the royals they're playing and Tobias certainly stepped into Matt Smith’s shoes brilliantly. His portrayal of the Duke of Edinburgh was one of the most recent to be seen across the world before Prince Philip sadly passed away at Windsor Castle in April. 

Now the actor has spoken out on playing such a significant royal figure as he reflected on the Duke of Edinburgh’s “extraordinary” life. 

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at Trooping the Colour

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

During a virtual interview with Radio Times, Tobias declared, “Of course, it’s an odd cultural position to be in, to have been the most recent person to have portrayed him at the time when he passed away."

“But truly, you know—I never met the man. I didn’t know him, you know. We were making a dramatisation of parts of his life. It was quite interesting because I did get asked quite a bit around that time [of Prince Philip’s death] to go onto shows and comment and talk about him, which really didn’t feel comfortable at all, because in a very fundamental way, I don’t know him,” Tobias admitted. 

However, despite never having met the late Duke of Edinburgh, Tobias revealed that extensive research went into his The Crown portrayal.

“I did my best to get close and try and understand and bring him to a screen,” he explained. “But that is, you know, fundamentally a very different thing than the man and his life, which was a very long and very varied and rather extraordinary life—a small bit of which we try to, you know, bring to life in our show.”

The Crown Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth

(Image credit: Netflix)

Tobias went on to speculate about his desire to keep his portrayal of a fictional Philip distinct, adding, “So, if I’m really honest, I’m wary to sort of confuse the two things really. Yes, and I feel fairly sure that he wouldn’t want me to confuse the two either. He certainly wouldn’t want me giving forth about his life.”

It’s not known whether or not Prince Philip was one of the members of the Royal Family who have seen The Crown. Though Tobias reflected that the Queen’s husband of 73-years likely would’ve found the idea of himself being depicted in the show “a ridiculous enterprise”. 

“I’m fairly sure he’s more of a documentaries man than a fiction man. He likes facts. Not conjecture,” Tobias added.

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, smiles after unveiling a plaque at the end of his visit to Richmond Adult Community College in Richmond on June 8, 2015 in London, England

(Image credit: Photo by Matt Dunham - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

The actor will himself be replaced as Prince Philip in The Crown by Jonathan Pryce as fans await further details on The Crown season 5’s cast, plot and release date. Though many might have hoped to see the show catch-up to present day, there’s a significant reason why The Crown won't continue past season 6.

Until then, fans will just have to catch up on all things royal with the recent Kate and William anniversary documentary and wait patiently for the announcement that The Crown season 5 isn't too long away!

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!