By ALEXIA JAMES
A month before its premiere and The Crown is already this autumn’s must-see television drama.
The ambitious £100million series charts the entire life of the Queen, from childhood to the present day.
However, viewers expecting a polite look at Britain’s longest-serving monarch are likely to be shocked – passionate kisses, expletive-ridden dialogue and even a bare royal bottom are all packed into the programme, which has already won over critics.
Perhaps the most controversial aspect of the drama is its depiction of the Queen’s relationship with her husband, played by Doctor Who star Matt Smith.
The series will claim that Prince Philip struggled with having to play second fiddle to his wife in public.
In one scene, Philip is resentful after being told he must walk behind her after they disembark from a plane. He is told: ‘The Crown must have precedence.’ He then protests when the Queen orders him to kneel before her at the Coronation ceremony of 1953.
The Crown shows Her Majesty and Prince Philip as a young couple very much in love. In the trailer, the young Prince Philip is seen bare-chested and oozing sex appeal as he strains every sinew in a rowing competition. The scene is far removed from the formal occasions in which the British people are used to seeing the Queen’s consort.
The Crown has brought the Prince a whole new wave of publicity. This time for positive reasons.
Although Prince Philip has the nation’s deepest respect, he has come to be the cause of many chuckles amongst Britons, who certainly know him best for his regular faux pas.
Prince Philip was in the news again a few years ago for a dodgy comment about Filipino nurses. The Duke of Edinburgh told a nurse from the Philippines that her country must be “half empty” because so many of her compatriots have come to the UK to work for the NHS. “The Philippines must be half empty – you’re all here running the NHS,” the prince told the nurse, who laughed.
A Luton and Dunstable hospital spokesperson at the time said the duke’s visit had been “hugely motivational”. Some in the Filipino capital Manila told the BBC that they felt the joke was “unfair”, while others admitted many people are lured away from their homeland by the UK.
Here are the Prince’s Top Ten clangers:
1) ” You look like you’re ready for bed”
During a meeting with Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2003, the Duke told the bemused politician his ceremonial dress looked like a pair of jim-jams, exclaiming: ” You look like you’re ready for bed.
2) “You ARE a woman, aren’t you?”
After accepting a figurine from a local during a visit to Kenya in 1984, Philip left everyone in the room red-faced when he had to double check their gender, asking the poor woman “You ARE a women, aren’t you?”
3) “….the Cantonese will eat it”
During a meeting with the World Wildlife Fund in 1993 the Duke came out with a bizarre critique of Cantonese cuisine, telling dumb-struck attendees: “If it has got four legs and it is not a chair, if it has got two wings and it flies but is not an aeroplane and if it swims and it is not a submarine, the Cantonese will eat it.”
4) Cowboys and Indians
A tour of a factory in Edinburgh in 2000 took an awkward twist when Philip spotted a fuse box and told his hosts “it looks as though it was put in by an Indian”.
He later explained he had meant to say “cowboy” but it was too late and Buckingham Palace was forced to issue an apology.
5) Don’t drink and drive
He may be Duke of Edinburgh – but that doesn’t mean Phil spares the Scottish from his cutting brand of comedy. Especially when it comes to their age-old stereotype as heavy drinkers.
When meeting a driving instructor north of the border in 1995, he asked him: “How do you keep the natives off the booze long enough to pass the test?”
6) Too fat to be an astronaut
He doesn’t spare children either. In 2001 Philip shattered 13-year-old Andrew Adams’ dreams of going into space.
During a one-on-one chat, the prince told the aspiring astronaut: “You’ll have to lose a bit of weight first.”
7) We are family
During a meeting at the 2009 Royal Variety Performance, Philip asked the ELEVEN members of black dance troup Diversity: “Are you all one family.”
To make matters worse, he then asked the London-based group: “Have you come over for this show?”
Comedian Jason Manford overheard the cringeworthy conversation, and later said: “I thought, ‘No they’re from London – they’ve done the same journey you have’.”
8) “…We are still drying out Windsor Castle.”
Phil’s most tactless gaffe came when he met survivors of the Lockerbie bombing. Comparing the devastating death of 270 people to the recent fire at Windsor Castle, the prince said: “People usually say that after a fire it is water damage that is the worst. We are still drying out Windsor Castle.”
9) “You managed not to get eaten, then”
Philip uttered this immortal lime to a bemused backpacker who had trekked across Papua New Guinea in 1998 – and didn’t end up in a giant pot.
In 1986 Philip achieved his singularly most cringe-worthy clanger when meeting British teenagers in the Chinese city of Xian. He warned the students if they lived in the Far East for a year they would “go native and come home slitty-eyed”.