Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes criticises portrayal of Prince Philip in The Crown

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  • Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes has leapt to the defence of Prince Philip, claiming the depiction of him in Netflix's The Crown was perhaps a little "unfair" on the Duke.

    Lord Julian praised the popular series, but claimed that he wasn’t “completely comfortable” with dramatising people who are still alive, as there is a risk of being “unfair”.

    He confessed to Katie Couric, “The Crown is a wonderful piece of work. It was beautifully acted, beautifully written.

    However, he went on, “For me, I’m not completely comfortable with dramatising people who are still alive and still living their lives, because I think it’s possible to be unfair.

    “And in the second series, I didn’t think it was fair to Prince Philip, to the Duke of Edinburgh, based on very little.”

    During the second series, the Queen’s husband was played by actor Matt Smith, and charted the monarch’s first few years on the throne.

    Within the series, Prince Philip is depicted as harsh on son Prince Charles. The show also suggests the Duke’s difficult relationship with Queen Elizabeth II, and even hints at rumours of his infidelity.

    Julian went on to acknowledge the success of the The Crown, saying that he knows many will not agree with him.

    “Now I’ll be punished for that, because it’s a great success and it deserves to be. But I don’t know.

    “I think when people are . . . doing a good job and popular and loved, do they deserve it? In that sense, I’m not sure they do.”

    He continued, “I think that a lot of it was based on, obviously, very good research, but some of it was not.

    “And some of it was extrapolation from a rumor or someone’s rather prejudiced account, and then it was presented as fact. I’m not sure that’s just,”

    However, he made it clear that he is still a huge fan of The Crown creator Peter Morgan.

    Julian said, “I think he’s the best writer on television at the moment. And it’s deservedly successful, as far as I’m concerned.”

    In the past, Peter Morgan has explained his depiction of the royal couple in the show – admitting at a screening that he wasn’t trying to pick holes in their marriage.

    He said, “What I have to do is write a story about people at the centre of British life who are human beings.

    “If you’re hoping that tries to pick holes in the royal marriage, I wouldn’t dream of it. Their marriage is a triumph by any standards.

    “If you’re close to someone for that long you’re going to have ups and downs and I didn’t want the show to duck complicated relationships,”

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