Duke of Edinburgh considered suing Netflix over ‘upsetting’ portrayal in The Crown

The Duke of Edinburgh - Max Mumby/Indigo/ Getty Images Europe
The Duke of Edinburgh – Max Mumby/Indigo/ Getty Images Europe

The Duke of Edinburgh was so upset about a storyline in The Crown that blamed him for the death of his sister that he considered suing Netflix, it has emerged.

Prince Philip consulted lawyers about the scenes that featured in the second series of the drama, according to Hugo Vickers, a royal historian.

“I know Prince Philip consulted his lawyer about it, to ask ‘what can I do about it?’” Mr Vickers told the Sunday Times.

“He was very upset about the way that was portrayed. He was human. He could be hurt like anybody else.”

The episode suggested that Prince Philip’s father, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, blamed him for the 1937 death of Princess Cecilie in a plane crash.

The 26-year-old princess was on her way to England to see her brother when the plane hit a factory chimney in Belgium and crashed, killing her, her husband, their two sons and their newborn baby, which appeared to have been born during the flight.

Princess Cecilie died in a plane crash on her way to see her brother Prince Philip - Hulton Archive/Hulton Royals Collection
Princess Cecilie died in a plane crash on her way to see her brother Prince Philip – Hulton Archive/Hulton Royals Collection

But The Crown suggested she would not have taken the flight had Philip not been forbidden from visiting her in Germany because of poor behaviour at school.

It showed the Duke’s father telling him at the funeral: “You’re the reason we’re all here, burying my favourite child.”

The revelation that the late Duke considered legal action comes after Sally Bedell Smith, who published a bestselling biography of Queen Elizabeth, described the storyline as the “most egregious” falsehood.

Speaking about the episode shortly after the Duke died last year, Ms Bedell Smith, said Philip “had nothing to do with his sister’s death” and there was no rift with his father after the tragedy.

She told the Mail on Sunday: “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.”

Ms Bedell Smith said the Duke had been made aware of the storyline, although both he and the late Queen refused to watch the drama.

“The whole thing about Cecilie, which he did learn about, was terribly upsetting to him,” she added.

Mr Vickers agreed at the time that Philip had been “very upset” about it.

Netflix insists The Crown is a “fictionalised drama” not a documentary.

Published by anthonyhayble

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