The 76-year-old actor played Prince Philip in the final two seasons of the Netflix royal drama, and hearing that the real-life royal family had watched the show led to an awkward encounter when he received his knighthood from the Royal Princess two years ago.
In an interview to be broadcast on Times Radio on Christmas Eve, Jonathan told presenters Kate McCann and Adam Boulton:
‘One of our cast met a member of the royal family who hinted that they had seen him. When I was knighted and went to Windsor, it was Princess Anne who dubbed me, and I was in the middle of playing her father, and there were hints that she had seen some of that.’
And then she put the sword lightly on her shoulder, and I stood up and said – thinking she was thinking, you know – I said, Oh, I don’t know what to tell you… um… sorry? – And she said : -Because? It is done-‘.
Jonathan wasn’t clear what Anne meant by her response but he still found the exchange amusing.
‘Now, whether she wanted to say that she was saying sorry for being here tonight, or that I’m sorry for, you know, you played my father and it was done the way you did, it’s, you know, whatever.’ . It was a pretty fun moment, at least for me.’
The former ‘Game of Thrones’ actor recently admitted that working on ‘The Crown’ had made him ‘more understanding’ of the royal family.
Speaking on the British TV show ‘Good Morning Britain’, he said:
‘I learned a lot about Prince Philip, but I have always been a fan of Prince Charles, now King Charles, and it will be interesting to see how he develops as a king and what he can bring to the country. We saw him recently at COP28 doing very important work and I think -The Crown-, if anything, has improved the image of the royal family. It has made people more understanding and understanding. It’s made me more understanding and understanding, and entertained people at the same time.’