Prince Philip’s sent ‘attentive and sympathetic’ letters to Diana details The Crown star

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Peter Morgan and the writing team of Netflix’s The Crown reportedly dug deep into the Royal Family’s personal letters in preparation for the show’s fourth season. During their extensive research, the showrunners discovered some intimate correspondence between Prince Philip and Princess Diana. 

The Crown star Tobias Menzies has referred to a number of affectionate letters sent by Prince Philip to Princess Diana during her tumultuous marriage to Prince Charles. 

The latest season of the acclaimed and controversial Royal drama drew attention this year for its unflinching depiction of the problematic relationship.

During promotion for the new series, Menzie revealed the team discovered several letters of support written to the young princess from Prince Philip. 

As well as assisting Peter Morgan and the writing team’s pre-production process for the series, the documents have also shed a light on an often unexplored Royal friendship.

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He recalled: “The team managed to get access to the letters that Philip and Diana wrote to each other during this time period. 

“I found they were very helpful to plug into the temperature of it and the thoughtfulness of it all.”

In the latest instalments, Tobias Menzies portrays a middle-aged Philip experiencing crises of aging, masculinity and fatherhood. 

The husband of Queen Elisabeth (played by Olivia Colman) welcomed the young newcomer, Princess Diana (Emma Corrin), who struggled to fit in with Royal proceedings in the new season.

In addition to handling her overwhelming international acclaim, Diana also struggled with an eating disorder and her husband Charles’ (Josh O’Connor) ongoing affair with Camilla Parker Bowles (Emerald Fennell). 

According to the star, Diana wrote and received a number of supportive letters from Philip during this period in the 1980s.

Menzies continued: “You get the complexity of what they were dealing with, this extraordinary juxtaposition of very personal things. 

“A young man working out what being in love means, a very universal thing that people have been doing for thousands of years.”

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“But it is happening in this very public way and against the needs of a very old fashioned institution than needs certain things to happen.”

In keeping with reactions to the marriage at the time, Charles and Diana’s is depicted as incredibly strained thanks to the vast age gap and the open secret of Philip’s infidelity. 

However, in contrast to Menzies’ portrayal of Charles’ father, the star surprised some fans when said he found Philip’s letters kind and empathetic.

He explained: “It gives you goosebumps when you see the very personal nature of those conversations.” 

“I found Philip’s letters to be really attentive, sympathetic, emotionally intelligent. He is patient and understanding with Diana.” 

Once again, Tobias Menzies and the rest of the ensemble cast all received acclaim for their complex portrayals of the Royal Family. 

Next season, Jonathan Pryce will replace Menzies as the older Prince Philip, whilst Elizabeth Debicki will take over as Princess Diana.

The Crown season 4 is available to stream on Netflix.

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