‘The Crown’s’ New Prince Philip, Tobias Menzies, Talks About His Character

Tobias Menzies of the television show The Terror speaks onstage during the AMC
Tommaso Boddi / Getty Images

Fans of The Crown are eagerly awaiting the new season of the series which tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II’s time on the throne, and a big part of the excitement is seeing new actors in the roles of the royal family.

Entertainment Weekly caught up with the new Prince Philip, Tobias Menzies, who is portraying the Duke of Edinburgh for his middle-aged years, taking the place of Matt Smith who had played the prince as a newlywed and husband of the queen.

Menzies, who recently played the double roles of Frank and Black Jack Randall in the Scottish series, Outlander, is now working alongside Olivia Colman who is taking over as the monarch from award-winning actor, Claire Foy.

EW asked Menzies what it is like working with Colman, and he jokes that it’s awful.”Really terrible,” quickly saying that she’s amazing and incredible hardworking.

The new Prince Philip says that in playing the partner of the queen, he jumped into the position where their marriage has hit an equilibrium after a rough patch, saying that when he steps in to play the Duke of Edinburgh, their relationship is more “settled.”

But he explains that all of this will hit another difficult point when the prince’s mother, who had long struggled with mental illness, comes to live with them.

“Their challenges come from outside for both of them. Philip’s mother comes into this season, [played by] a great actress called Jane Lapotaire. She comes and lives with the family, and that raises various complications for him. Sort of buried emotions, I think.”

Loading...

Menzies explains that when Prince Philip was a child, his family was split apart for a number of reasons, and his mother was institutionalized. He was “farmed out” to various relatives, but in his adulthood, his mother comes back, stirring up many childhood emotions.

The crisis of his past and present colliding send the prince into crisis, which triggers new problems where he wonders what he has really done with his life. His wife is queen, but what is he? Menzies says he begins to think of the path not taken.

“Part of him kind of goes, ‘That’s what I could have been, if I hadn’t chosen this path, if I hadn’t married this person, if I hadn’t become who I’ve become,’ which was never his intention, to be this kind of functionary.”

The actor believes that the prince’s struggles in Season 3 of The Crown are “more existential, really, rather than marital.”