By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
Britain's Queen Elizabeth used to watch episodes of The Crown via a projector on Sunday nights, actor Matt Smith has said.
The British actor, who played a young version of Prince Philip in the popular royal drama, said he wanted to return to the UK to experience the “ceremony” of the monarch’s state funeral – due to be held on Monday.
Smith starred opposite Claire Foy for the first two seasons of the show, which also featured John Lithgow as Winston Churchill.
Actor Matt Smith, who famously played Prince Philip in the Netflix series “The Crown,” talks about his real-life interactions with members of the royal family.
He also opens up about his most-recent role as Daemon Targaryen on #HouseOfTheDragon pic.twitter.com/U10MJArXL5
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 15, 2022
It has long been speculated if any members of the royal family watched the hit series, or what their opinions of it were.
Speaking to NBC’s Today Show, Smith said: “I heard the queen had watched it, and she used to watch it on a projector on a Sunday night apparently.
“I know that Philip definitely didn’t.
“A friend of mine sat next to him at a dinner once and he asked him… apparently he turned ’round to him and said ‘don’t be ridiculous’.”
Smith revealed his desire to return to the UK for the funeral on Monday, saying: “I think it’s a piece of history.
“I think I just want to be in London. I want to experience it, I want to share in the ceremony of it really.”
He added that whereas his mother wanted to go to witness the procession, he would most likely watch the service “in a local pub with a group of friends”.
It comes after Foy spoke of the honour of playing the queen on screen, describing the late British monarch as a “massive symbol of continuity and dignity and grace”.
Speaking to the BBC at the Toronto Film Festival, she said: “I think that she was an incredible monarch.
“She united people and she was a massive symbol of continuity and dignity and grace.”
Netflix also recently revealed that the first series has entered the streamer’s global top 10 for the week of September 5-11 following Queen Elizabeth’s death.
The series landed in seventh position for TV shows in the English language, with nearly 17.6 million hours viewed globally.
The weekly post stated: “HRH Queen Elizabeth II was in the hearts and minds of viewers.”
“Fans revisited Season 1 of The Crown, which entered the list for the first time in the seventh spot with 17.57 million hours viewed.”
Filming on the latest series of The Crown was halted following the death of the queen last Thursday and filming will also be suspended on Monday for the funeral.
The upcoming fifth series of the lavish royal drama, currently due to air in November, will see Dominic West star as Charles and Elizabeth Debicki as Diana, Princess of Wales.
The Crown was due to end after its fifth series, but the show’s creator and writer Peter Morgan later said it will be extended to include a sixth.