The Crown’s Tobias Menzies: ‘A lot of forces were at play within Prince Philip’

Tobias Menzies has spoken out about Prince Philip after playing him in The Crown (Picture: Netflix/PA)

Tobias Menzies has spoken out about Prince Philip’s ‘contradictory nature’ after the royal’s death last week.

The actor, 47, played the Duke of Edinburgh in popular Netflix series The Crown and spent many months studying interviews of the Queen’s husband in preparation for the role.

He told the Guardian’s Today in Focus podcast: ‘There’s a lot of different forces at play within him.

‘He was someone who was very wary to show his feelings, and yet, atmospherically, he’s not a cool presence, he’s quite hot… He’s abrasive. He’s challenging. He’s funny.’

The star added that these different qualities were always at play within the royal, saying the Duke felt like he was often giving a lot of himself to others.

Tobias portrayed Prince Philip for two years after taking over the part from Matt Smith in 2019.

Actor Tobias studied Prince Philip for his role in The Crown (Picture: Anthony Harvey/REX)

Speaking of his admiration for the Duke: ‘For someone who clearly was not comfortable with [the role], he managed to do it with quite a high degree with dignity and patience.’

Prince Philip was often the subject of controversial rumours including affairs and accusations of racism.

But Tobias always felt the need to protect Philip while playing him on The Crown, saying: ‘It was my job as an actor to show as much complexity as I can, while fundamentally, being on Philip’s side, to try to empathise with why he might say some of those remarks rather than critique that.’

Prince Philip died on April 9, two months before his 100th birthday.

A ceremonial royal funeral will take place at St George’s Chapel in the grounds of Windsor Castle this afternoon.

Under normal circumstances an congregation of 800 would have gathered but coronavirus restrictions mean only 30 people will be in attendance, including members of the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh’s families.

Well-wishers are being asked not to travel to Windsor to pay their respects.

The royal family’s official YouTube channel will broadcast the funeral live from 2.30pm with the BBC, Sky News and ITV being among the channels also showing the service.

MORE : Prince Philip’s extraordinary 99-year life in pictures

MORE : Inside Prince William and Prince Harry’s troubled sibling relationship

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