The Palace Staff Has a Favorite Royal and It's Definitely Not Who You Would Expect

Spoiler alert: It's not Harry or Meghan.

Trooping The Colour 2017
(Image credit: Karwai Tang)

Prince Philip, a.k.a. the Queen's husband, is one of the more controversial people in the royal family—he's known for his bluntness, for starters. You would think that would mean the Palace staff, who are with him every day, would dislike the Duke of Edinburgh, 97, while attending to his needs. However, according to Matt Smith, who played Prince Philip in The Crown for two seasons before handing the role over to Tobias Menzies, Prince Philip is actually one of the favorite royals of the Palace staff.

"All the research I did found him to be brilliantly funny, very clever, very popular. In the royal house he’s the most popular of all of them. If you’ve talked to any of the staff, Philip’s the one they all love really," says Smith in an interview with Variety. "I think more than a lot of them, he’s a bit more of a man of the people. The royal protocol hasn’t dogged him in quite the same way his whole life and there’s a sort of rebellion in him and a naughtiness and a cheekiness. I think he’s quite affable and open by all accounts with the staff. They all love him."

Granted, we don't know the whole back story, but The Crown has really attempted to humanize Philip (who once reportedly claimed, "I am rude, but it's fun") in the royal drama. IRL, the Duke has kept a pretty low profile throughout the years, and retired from his duties last year while recovering from an extensive hip surgery. It's unclear whether or not he'll attend his granddaughter Princess Eugenie's wedding to Jack Brooksbank in October.


24th november 1947 princess elizabeth and the prince philip, duke of edinburgh enjoying a walk during their honeymoon at broadlands, romsey, hampshire photo by topical press agencygetty images

(Image credit: Topical Press Agency)
Rachel Epstein

Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.