While the young royals including Princes William and Harry are known and loved for their friendly and relatable personalities, it was actually their grandfather Prince Philip who was most popular among palace staff, according to actor Matt Smith. The star, who portrayed the Duke of Edinburgh in Netflix drama The Crown, said that after speaking to a number of staff during research for his role, it became evident that the Queen's late husband, who sadly passed away on Friday 9 April, was incredibly popular.
Prince Philip's best family moments - WATCH
Speaking about his preparations for the role, Matt said that he found there was a lot of "misconception" about what the Queen's husband is really like. "And actually 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," Matt told Variety.
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Prince Philip is the most popular royal with palace staff, according to Matt Smith
"If you've talked to any of the staff, Philip's the one they all love really. I think more than a lot of them, he's a bit more of a man of the people," he added, saying he believes Philip has a "cheekiness" to him that means he doesn't always follow royal protocol and is "open" with the staff.
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Prince Philip's sad passing was announced in a statement on Friday morning, confirming the sad news.
It read: "It is with deep sorrow that Her Majesty The Queen has announced the death of her beloved husband, His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His Royal Highness passed away peacefully this morning at Windsor Castle. The Royal Family join with people around the world in mourning his loss. Further announcements will be made in due course."
MORE: Prince Philip obituary: The Duke's incredible life from childhood to duty
Matt portrayed the Duke of Edinburgh in Netflix drama The Crown
Prince William and his wife, The Duchess of Cambridge, paid tribute to their grandfather shortly after the sad news was made public, by sharing the statment on their social media pages and replacing their bio photos with a sombre black monogram. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle also paid tribute, taking their Archewell website offline, and replacing it with a touching tribute to the Duke.
Prince Philip's son, Prince Charles, also paid tribute to his father, in a joint statement from himself and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Prince Charles paid tribute to his father via social media
The Queen and her husband had spent much of 2020 and 2021 in isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic.
They had been living together at Windsor Castle, although Philip did spend a stint at the King Edward VII hospital in London in February.
Prince Philip retired from royal duties in 2017, but still made occasional appearances alongside the Queen and other members of the royal family, including attending Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding in May 2018 – with a cracked rib – and Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's wedding later that year in October.