When it comes to the Royal family, Her Majesty the Queen and her closest relatives are well versed at keeping their private lives out of the public eye, with life behind the palace doors remaining a mystery for most.
However it has now been revealed which member of the royal brood is the most popular among staff, as The Crown star Matt Smith spilled the beans in an interview with US entertainment magazine Variety.
Smith, 35, who starred as the Duke of Edinburgh in series one and two of hit Netflix series The Crown, revealed it is actually his on-screen alter ego Prince Philip, 97, who is most loved by the staff at Buckingham Palace.
“I felt there was a sort of a misconception and a preconception about him, which reduced him a bit,” the former Doctor Who actor said. “And actually all the research I did found him to be brilliantly funny, very clever, very popular.”
Smith – who will hand over the leading role to actor Tobias Menzies for season three – described the Queen’s husband as “a man of the people” and credited his popularity to his “naughtiness”, as the Duke is known for speaking his mind, often controversially, and his witty sense of humour.
“In the royal house he’s the most popular of all of them,” he added. “If you’ve talked to any of the staff, Philip’s the one they all love really.
“I think more than a lot of them, he’s a bit more of a man of the people. The royal protocol hasn’t dogged him in quite the same way his whole life and there’s a sort of rebellion in him and a naughtiness and a cheekiness. I think he’s quite affable and open by all accounts with the staff. They all love him.”
On Monday it was revealed that Philip is not a fan of Smith’s controversial interpretation of his life in the TV drama.
In fact according to the Mirror, actor Matt Smith – who played Philip in the first two series of the show – has now recalled the moment one of his friends previously enjoyed dinner with the Queen’s husband and apparently got a very blunt response when he asked him if he watches The Crown.
Matt reportedly said: “He [Philip] turned around to him and went, ‘Don’t be ridiculous’. Apparently the Queen has but we don’t know. I’m pretty sure some [royals] have.”
Fans of the show were treated to a glimpse of the series’ new faces earlier this year, with Menzies being announced as taking over the role of Prince Philip in July, while Broadchurch actress Olivia Colman will take over from Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II.
Harry Potter star Helena Bonham-Carter has been cast as the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret, inheriting the role from Vanessa Kirby, while her husband Antony Armstrong-Jones will be portrayed by Ben Daniels.