The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, had been terribly upset over an episode of The Crown that appeared to put the blame on him for the death of his sister. He subsequently considered suing Netflix over the second season of the show and consulted several lawyers about his options.
Hugo Vickers, a royal historian, recently opened up on Prince Philip’s upset. He told the Sunday Times, “I know Prince Philip consulted his lawyer about it, to ask ‘what can I do about it?’ He was very upset about the way that was portrayed. He was human. He could be hurt like anybody else.”
The season two episode in question looked to suggest that the Duke of Edinburgh’s father, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark, had blamed Princess Cecilie’s death on his son. Cecilie was 26 years old when she was travelling to England to visit Philip, and her plane collided with a Belgian factory chimney, crashing and killing her along with her husband and children.
The episode of The Crown looked to imply that Cecilie would not have boarded the flight if Philip had not been misbehaving at school and subsequently banned from visiting his sister in Germany. In the show, Andrew told his son, “You’re the reason we’re all here, burying my favourite child.” Philip then considered a lawsuit after seeing the episode.
Sally Bedell Smith, who wrote a biography of Queen Elizabeth, later described the episode as a “most egregious” falsehood, claiming that Prince Philip “had nothing to do with his sister’s death”. She said, “Cecilie did die in an air crash, but that’s the only thing that was true. Everything else was invented in a shockingly malicious way. The whole thing about Cecilie, which he did learn about, was terribly upsetting to him.”