Ingrid Seward, author of Prince Philip Revealed, says it's been hard for actors to get a handle on the recently departed Duke of Edinburgh because he usually remains partly out of view. The Matt Smith portrayal in The Crown's first two seasons "make him seem grumpy and bored. He was never bored. He led a really active, packed, busy life," says Seward, who interviewed Philip and other members of the Royal family in the 1970s. She also thinks Smith failed to carry himself the way Philip did. “Everyone knows that he walks with his hands behind his back, that he’s got a very military stance, even in his 99th year,” Seward said, adding that this posture made him seem taller than he actually was. Seward said Smith’s Philip was also too pouty and petulant, even if Philip did struggle to find a role for himself when his wife first became queen. “Philip does not sulk,” Seward said. “That is so not him.” Seward says Tobias Menzies' portrayal of Philip in Seasons 3 and 4 was much more nuanced, but she disputed that he had a midlife crisis, as depicted in the Moon Landing episode. "Once Philip established himself, he was fine,” Seward said. “He accomplished so much, and he traveled all over the world on his own.” Stewart adds that The Crown didn’t get Philip’s sense of humor, his shyness, his love of cooking programs on television or his extensive knowledge of art. Yes, he did occasionally make insensitive — and even racist — remarks. “I’m not defending him,” Seward said. “But he would say something jokingly, and it would sound rude or racist.” Philip called this “dontopedalogy,” the science of opening your mouth and putting your foot in it. ALSO: The Crown's two depictions of Prince Philip resonate deeply in a culture whose relationship to the British royal family is shifting rapidly.
TOPICS: Prince Philip, Netflix, The Crown, Matt Smith, Tobias Menzies