Jonathan Pryce and Imelda Staunton will explore the ups and downs of the Queen’s marriage (Picture: Netflix)
The Crown stars Jonathan Pryce and Imelda Staunton have defended showrunner Peter Morgan for including the ‘little hiccups’ that are set to appear in Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth’s relationship in season 5.
The new chapter of the Netflix series has already been met with staunch criticism after it was reported it will portray the late Duke of Edinburgh and close friend Countess Mountbatten of Burma Penelope Knatchbull (Natascha McElhone) ‘touching hands’ and discussing marriage woes.
Dickie Arbiter, who was the Queen’s spokesman from 1988 to 2000, slammed the scene and branded it ‘distasteful.’
‘Coming just weeks after the nation laid Her Majesty to rest next to Prince Philip, this is very distasteful and, quite frankly, cruel rubbish,’ he told The Sun.
However, Pryce and Staunton, who succeeded Tobias Menzies Olivia Coleman as the late royal couple, have commended Morgan for addressing the ups and downs.
The Queen was married to Prince Philip for 74 years until his death in 2021 (Picture: Getty)
‘This relationship, like many long-lasting marriages and relationships and partnerships, will inevitably go through ups and downs,’ Pryce teased to Metro.co.uk and other press.
‘I think it’s very brave of Peter Morgan to want to show the whole spectrum of a relationship.
‘But one of the things you know from your own life, is these little hiccups you have, underlying it and the reason you see it through the next morning, is this great sense of love and respect and great sense of support for each other.’
He adds: ‘Philip is especially supportive of the Queen and has great admiration for her, and I think that’s what you see and I think that’s what the audience will want to see from it.’
Staunton and Pryce play the Queen and Prince Philip in The Crown season 5 (Picture: Netflix)
The new chapter will see Prince Philip opening up to good friend Penelope Knatchbull (Picture: Netflix)
Staunton nodded in agreement, noting that Morgan ‘doesn’t shy away from things’.
‘We do feel we’re given more dimensions to play than just the people on the balcony,’ she adds. ‘We’re giving more of a 360 degree character and flavour.’
There has been no concrete evidence of an affair between Philip and the Queen, and he previously shot down rumours when questioned in 2017.
‘Have you ever stopped to think that, for the past 40 years, I have never moved anywhere without a policeman accompanying me? So how the hell could I get away with anything like that?’ he said in 2017.
The Queen and Prince Philip are buried together in St George’s Chapel (Picture: PA)
Prince Philip and the Queen were married for 74 years before his death in 2021. Her late majesty died on September on September 8 aged 96.
Pryce and Staunton have starred alongside each other before making their debut on The Crown, previously appearing in Return To Cranford together in 2009.
Turning their attention to reuniting on the set of The Crown, Pryce admits their friendship helped them when it came to scene sharing.
‘The fact Imelda have known each other for so long and are friends, we have mutual respect for each other,’ he says. ‘That’s a given.
‘That has helped with this cast as well,’ Staunton adds. ‘We’re all older actors so there is a chance that some of us have worked together before. The three of us have worked together before, so there’s a baseline that none of us have to work at.’
The Crown season 5 launches on November 9 on Netflix.