If you had to guess, who do you think is the most popular royal family member among the palace staff? Prince Harry? Kate Middleton? Maybe Meghan Markle? Well, according to Matt Smith, the actor who plays Prince Philip on the Netflix show The Crown, the palace staff's favorite royal is actually the very man Smith portrays.
"All the research I did found him to be brilliantly funny, very clever, very popular," Smith said. "In the royal house he’s the most popular of all of them. If you’ve talked to any of the staff, Philip’s the one they all love, really."
According to Smith, the reason Prince Philip is so beloved is most likely due to the fact that he's not a stickler for royal etiquette. The royal family is notorious for its strict rules, but Prince Philip doesn't seem to take it as seriously as, say, his wife, the queen.
"I think more than a lot of them, he’s a bit more of a man of the people," Smith said. "The royal protocol hasn’t dogged him in quite the same way his whole life and there’s a sort of rebellion in him and a naughtiness and a cheekiness. I think he’s quite affable and open by all accounts with the staff. They all love him."
In fact, according to the new book Behind the Throne: A Domestic History of the British Royal Household ($20.69, Amazon) written by royal historian Adrian Tinniswood, royal staff and Prince Philip's friends have a special nickname for the queen's husband: "P.P."
It makes sense that the staff would truly love Prince Philip, if you think about it. He's been by the queen's side for more than seven decades, so palace staff (especially many of those who have been there just as long) have probably gotten to know him very well and are past the point of formalities. The queen's husband is also known for having a somewhat off-color sense of humor, so we can see how that might put his employees at ease. Overall, it's nice to see Prince Philip getting the attention and love he truly deserves!