The royal family is used to being in the spotlight, but now the staff at Buckingham Palace are in the news. According to Hello!, actor Matt Smith spoke to quite a few of the staff members while prepping for his role as Prince Philip on the hit Netflix show, The Crown. During their conversations, it became clear to Smith who the staff favorited above all else: Prince Philip.
When asked about his conversations, Smith said that many people had the wrong idea of what the Duke of Edinburgh is really like. In an interview with Variety, Smith said that "all the research I did found [Prince Philip] to be brilliantly funny, very clever, very popular. In the royal house, he's the most popular of all of them." He added that the 97-year-old is the "one they all love," and said that he's really a man of the people. Smith also said that Prince Philip is an open and honest man, and is quite known for his "cheekiness" with the staff, which means he doesn't always follow royal protocol.
Prince Philip retired in 2017, and since then, he has taken a step back from the public eye. In April, the Duke of Edinburgh had a hip replacement, which further kept him from attending many engagements. Despite this, Prince Philip did attend the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and has recently attended a church service in Balmoral. The Duke of Edinburgh arrived at the service with "Zara and Mike Tindall, the Duchess of Cornwall, Sophie Wessex, Prince Edward and their daughter, Lady Louise Windsor." The service was the first time he'd been seen in public since June after he celebrated his 97th birthday.
The queen and Prince Philip have been in Balmoral Castle this summer, a palace set in the in the mountains that have long been a favorite place for the royal family, according to a separate Hello! report.
Princess Eugenie spoke highly of Balmoral Castle.
"It's the most beautiful place on earth. I think Granny is the most happy there. I think she really, really loves the Highlands. Walks, picnics, dogs – a lot of dogs, there's always dogs – and people coming in and out all the time. It's a lovely base for Granny and Grandpa, for us to come and see them up there; where you just have room to breathe and run."
Prince William and Kate Middleton are expected to make a trip to the Scottish estate in the coming weeks, along with Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex. The trip will be Markle's first since becoming a member of the royal family.