Mumbai, April 10, 2021: Prince Philip, the husband of Queen Elizabeth and a leading figure in the British royal family for almost seven decades, passed away at the age of 99, Buckingham Palace said on Friday. Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh, as he was officially known, had been by Queen Elizabeth’s side throughout her 69-year reign, the longest in British history.
During that time he earned a reputation for a tough, no-nonsense attitude and a propensity for occasional gaffes.
A Greek prince, Philip married Elizabeth in 1947. He went on to play a key role in modernising the monarchy in the post-World War Two period, and behind the walls of Buckingham Palace was the one key figure the queen could turn to and trust.
Throughout the lifetime, Prince Philip has been depicted in various films and television shows. In documentaries, he acted his own part.
Here are some of the actors who acted as Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, on screen:
Matt Smith as Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh
The first actor to play Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh on Netflix’s hit The Crown was former Doctor Who star Matt Smith, who played the royal consort in the early decades of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.
Despite not being a dead ringer for the royal, Smith was able to excellently bring to life his acerbic wit and his playful side, as well as his occasional petulance, with his chemistry with co-star Claire Foy (who played the Queen) adding real spark to the show.
Some of his standout storylines involved him reliving his traumatic past, particularly when contrasting his experiences at tough boarding school Gordonstoun (and the tragic death of his beloved sister in a plane crash) with that of his eldest son, Prince Charles.
When actor Tobias Menzies played as Prince Philip
Tobias Menzies took over from Matt Smith after the first two seasons of The Crown. His portrayal has been quieter, but just as affecting, with the Duke shown to have mellowed in his middle age.
More similar looking to Philip than his predecessor, his storylines have been just as dramatic, from his reunion with his estranged mother Princess Alice of Battenberg in season three, to his relationship with Princess Diana in season four, when he is seen encouraging the romance with Charles (and semi-threatening her when she suggests she might leave him).
Revered actor Jonathan Pryce will pick up the mantle from Tobias Menzies in season five of The Crown, playing the Duke in his later years. The next series promises to focus on the eventful decade of the 1990s, from the divorces of Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Charles, to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, all set against the backdrop of Cool Britannia and the election of Tony Blair’s New Labour government: lots for Pryce to get his teeth stuck into.
Another memorable time that the Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh has been portrayed on screen is in Peter Morgan’s feature film, The Queen, about the days after the death of Diana,
Princess of Wales and the public’s reaction to the traumatic event. At the time, the Royal Family, and the Queen in particular, were pilloried by the papers due to their perceived inability to ‘feel’, with Prince Philip shown as an important support for Her Majesty in one of the most difficult times of her reign.
Before the royal love stories of Harry and Meghan and William and Kate were brought to the small screen, there was Charles & Diana: A Royal Love Story, which aired in 1982. Strangely, despite the lack of Hollywood fanfare, the made-for-television film starred the great actor Christopher Lee in the supporting role of Prince Philip, best known for bringing to life Count Dracula. By far the top-billed actor, Lee brought refined glamour to the role.