New drama series The Crown is set to reveal the Duke of Edinburgh’s frustrations about being made to give up his Royal Navy career following The Queen’s accession to the throne in 1953.
The £100 million drama (believed to be the most expensive television series yet produced for Netflix) illuminates the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and will explore for the first time on screen the Prince’s struggle with the expectations placed on him as Prince Consort. Played by Dr Who star Matt Smith, Prince Philip is portrayed as a doting husband and viewers will see the young royals coming to terms with the duties and obligations of roles they were not expecting to inhabit so soon.
Series creator Peter Morgan says that the show will allow viewers to see the ‘building resentment [Philip] has toward [Queen Elizabeth’s] power’ as he struggles to cope with being pushed to relinquish his own goals in favour of standing by her side as her support.
Morgan says, ‘He was forced to give up his career and become, as it were, her consort. And that led to all sorts of tensions, both within himself and within the marriage….Now, Philip, I think, had made the mental calculation that he would enjoy 20 years of married life before this dreadful Crown business would happen… As an ambitious, energetic, very much an alpha personality type, I think he was quite reasonably expecting to have a long, successful career and reach the upper echelon of the Royal Navy. But then King George became sick and died at age 56. This thing happens, bang, sooner than anyone would have expected.’
The production is directed by Stephen Daldry and will start with the couple’s marriage in 1947 before moving through Queen Elizabeth, played by Claire Foy, taking the throne in 1953 following the sudden and unexpected passing of her 56-year-old father, George VI.
The 10-part drama will be released at 8am on Netflix on 4 November and though Morgan claims the royal family are ‘very, very aware’ of the series, Buckingham Palace has declined to comment to news outlets about the programme.