Sir Jonathan Pryce rejects idea that Prince Philip was racist

Sir Jonathan Pryce has praised Prince Philip credit:Bang Showbiz
Sir Jonathan Pryce has praised Prince Philip credit:Bang Showbiz

Sir Jonathan Pryce says Prince Philip was "far from racist".

The 75-year-old actor will play the late Duke of Edinburgh in the fifth and sixth seasons of the hit Netflix drama 'The Crown' and has claimed that Philip's famous gaffes were because he was a "product" of his time.

Jonathan told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "The first thing young people say about him is that he was racist. Far from it. He was a product of a time when there was casual racism but I don't think he was racist at all.

"He was highly intelligent, curious, and in his time innovative. He toured, lectured, spoke, encouraged. Though he felt hidebound by being part of the monarchy, he did what he could."

Jonathan explained how speaking to carriage-drivers - a hobby the late royal took up for fun later in life - provided him with valuable insight about Philip.

The 'Pirates of the Caribbean' star said: "I had seen him as not very outgoing, quite aloof, but when I started to talk to people who knew him - the carriage-driving fraternity and 'The Crown's' special advisers on protocol who were very close to him - it was clear that he was a great person to spend time with, very funny, very full of life. No one I spoke to had a bad word to say."

Jonathan explained that portraying Philip - who died aged 99 in 2021 - was his toughest "acting challenge".

He said: "It was my biggest acting challenge - and continues to be.

"After he died, it got even more daunting. You watched the documentaries honouring him and his grandchildren and saw how he was loved by his children and grandchildren and suddenly there was this side of him that the public weren't aware of. He was a great surprise. I wish I had known more about him over the years."