- Actor Sir Jonathan Pryce apologized to Princess Anne for his portrayal of Prince Philip in The Crown after learning that the Royal Family watched the show.
- There was some confusion on Pryce’s part when Princess Anne responded to his apology, as he wasn’t sure if she understood why he was apologizing.
- Despite critical acclaim, The Crown has faced criticism for its depictions of the Royal Family, with palace officials calling it a fictionalized interpretation of historical events. Dame Judi Dench also expressed concerns about viewers mistaking it for true history.
After learning that the Royal Family watched The Crown, actor Sir Jonathan Pryce felt compelled to apologize to Princess Anne. Pryce portrayed Prince Philip, Princess Anne’s father, during the final two seasons of the Netflix series. During a conversation with Times Radio (via Deadline), Pryce recounted the moment to hosts Kate McCann and Adam Boulton; the “amusing” encounter all went down while he was being knighted by the Royal Family member in 2021.
“When I was made a knight and went to Windsor, and it was Princess Anne who dubbed me, and I was in the middle of playing her father, and there’d been intimations that she’d seen some of it. And so she put the sword lightly on the shoulder, and I stood up and I said – thinking she was thinking, you know – I said, ‘Oh, I don’t know what to say to you…um…sorry? And she said, ‘Why? It’s done now’.”
Princess Anne’s comment led to some confusion on Pryce’s end, who was unsure if she understood why he was apologizing.
“Now, whether she meant I was saying sorry for being here tonight, or sorry for, y’know, you’ve played my father and it’s done the way you’ve done it, it’s, you know, whatever. It was quite an amusing moment, for me at least.”
Despite critical acclaim and numerous accolades, The Crown has garnered criticism for its depictions of the Royal Family. In 2019, palace officials released a statement calling the series a “fictionalised interpretation of historical events,” noting that the “royal household is not complicit in interpretations made by the programme.” In 2022, Dame Judi Dench critiqued the series, as she felt that “a significant number of viewers, particularly overseas, may take its version of history as being wholly true.”
The Crown Wraps With Emotional Sixth Season
The Crown premiered on Netflix in 2016, amassing critical praise and a slew of accolades, including 21 Emmy Awards, six Screen Actors Guild Awards, five Critics Choice Awards, and seven Golden Globe Awards. The historical drama, which follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, was created by Peter Morgan, who developed the series from his 2006 film The Queen and his 2013 stage play The Audience.
The Crown concluded its six-season run earlier this month, with the final season centered on Princess Diana’s death and Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles’ nuptials. Wrapping the show proved an emotional moment for Pryce, who recently told EW:
“The final day was filming in a vast cathedral. It was an extraordinary place to be in for the final scene of the series, where you see just see Philip and the Queen, and they had been talking about their legacy, and we were also thinking at the time, this is the last of ‘The Crown,’ and what that legacy would be like, and saying Philip’s final words. I got a little choked, as I walk away from the Queen. But it was a good feeling, because I felt it was a job well done. You could leave with your head held high.”
The Crown is available to stream on Netflix.