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Downton Abbey's Julian Fellowes Criticizes The Crown's Portrayal of Prince Philip

There's no beef quite like British period drama beef.
IMAGE COURTESY OF NETFLIX
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All British period dramas are not created equal—at least not according to Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. In a new interview with Katie Couric on her podcast, Fellowes revealed that he thinks The Crown's portrayal of Prince Philip wasn't "fair" to the 97-year-old royal.

Despite having said "I never criticize anyone else's work" earlier in the episode, when Fellows was asked about the Netflix show, he didn't hold back his thoughts.

"The Crown is a wonderful piece of work, and a brilliant, brilliant writing from Peter Morgan," he starts off, padding his judgement with praise.

"It was beautifully acted, beautifully written. For me, I’m not completely comfortable with dramatizing people who are still alive and still living their lives. Because I think it’s possible to be unfair, and in the second series, I didn’t think it was fair to Prince Philip, to the Duke of Edinburgh, based on very little."


Matt Smith in the show as compared with Prince Philip in real life.

While he doesn't explicitly talk about plot points, it's fairly safe to assume Fellowes is referring to a story line on the show's second season that implied Prince Philip was unfaithful to Queen Elizabeth.

"I think that a lot of it was based on obviously very good research, but some of it was not. And some of it was extrapolation from a rumor or someone's rather prejudiced account, and then it was presented as fact, and I'm not sure that's just," Fellowes continued.

He also took the argument a bit further, raising the question, should people who are still alive be dramatized at all?

“Now I’ll be punished for [these comments] because it’s a great success and it deserves to be. I don’t know. I think when people are still alive, living their lives, doing a good job and popular and loved, do they deserve it? And in that sense, I’m not sure they do.”

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Whether they deserve it or not, the royals are coming back to the small screen in The Crown's third season next year.

Fellowes, in the meantime, is keeping busy with a number of projects, including The Gilded Age, a show set in turn-of-the-century New York, and Five Arrow, a project centered around the Rothschild dynasty.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Hallemann
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