Following the early series of The Crown, Prince Philip was reportedly “upset” after the show portrayed an inaccurate storyline surrounding the tragic death of his elder sister, Princess Cecilie in 1937. After finding out about the storyline, Philip allegedly sought legal advice. Speaking on TalkTV, royal editor Rupert Bell discussed the Duke of Edinburgh’s distaste over the storyline with host Julia Hartley-Brewer.
Speaking to Mr Bell, Julia said: “A fascinating story that Prince Philip wanted to sue The Crown way back, I think, series two or three wasn’t it, when the depictions of his sister’s death in a plane crash [was shown] and a member of the family apparently blaming him.
“[Saying] she was only on the plane because of you, and he actually contacted lawyers and was going to sue.”
He replied: “This was back in 1937, when Prince Philip’s sister died in a plane crash flying over to London but the crash happened in Belgium in 1937.
“Now, The Crown’s depiction of it was that she was flying over because he’d been a naughty boy at Gordonstoun and couldn’t fly back to the family for half-term.”
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He added: “Prince Philip said [that] this was not the case at the time, and [that] he was close to his sister and they were flying over to see him.
“That’s what upset him at the time.”
The royal expert added the “facts became a dramatised version of events”, adding, that “clearly from a story point of view, [this] made a good element to the story.”
Philip’s sister, Princess Cecilie died, aged 26, on November 16, 1937.
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Cecilie was killed alongside her two sons, Ludwig and Alexander, who were five and three at the time, her husband, Georg Donatus, the Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse, her mother-in-law and the children’s nurse.
Cecilie also had a daughter, Johanna, who was not present on the plane.
She was also pregnant, at the time of the crash, with her fourth child. It was reported that the child had been born during the flight and also died in the crash.
November 16, 2022 marks 85 years since the deaths of Cecilie and her family.
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The fifth series of The Crown follows the breakdown of the marriage between the late Princess Diana and King Charles III.
A sixth season has been confirmed, although no release date has been announced.