The Crown's Peter Morgan Defends Controversial Prince Philip Cheating Scenes

'I wouldn't dream of picking holes in the royal marriage'

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The Crown's controversial second series may hint at Prince Philip's infidelities, but creator Peter Morgan insists he's not trying to "pick holes in the royal marriage".

An episode from season two centres on the Duke's four month tour of the Commonwealth countries without the Queen or their children in 1956, and it's implied that he was linked to a number of women during that time.

In one scene, Philip's private secretary Commander Michael Parker writes a letter back to Philip's exclusive Thursday Club in the UK and details their misadventures.

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The infamous lunch club consisted of his close acquaintances including Cecil Beaton and Lord Louis Mountbatten.

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Parker's letter reads: "Philip is a work-hard-play-hard man who would never stand in the way of a bit of fun. And in New Guinea it turns out, there's no such thing as infidelity. Men are expected to indulge... I think by the end of this tour, we'll be able to make a qualitative assessment about where the finest women in the world come from."

It continues: "But now I can tell you the women of New Guinea are sweeter than those of Ceylon and right up there with those of Malaya. I have shared these secrets in good faith. The content must like all disclosures of the Thursday Club, remain secret. 90 per cent of the officers on board are married and would kill me if they knew what I was writing."

The tour is also described by the Netflix drama as "a five-month stag do – whores in every port".

Philip – played by Matt Smith – is also seen eyeing up a journalist called Helen King during their tour, who he agrees to speak with because of his attraction to her. But when the reporter delves into his past and his mother's mental health, he angrily announces: "Don't let my vanity get the better of me again."

Another incriminating scene features the Queen – played by Claire Foy – discovering a picture of a dancer in Philip's (Matt Smith) bag, which is could be Pat Kirkwood – the late British stage actress, singer and dancer who Philip was previously linked to.

However, Morgan described the royal couple's marriage as a "triumph" at the show's recent premiere in London, and pointed out that most marriages experience "ups and downs".

"What I have to do is write a story about people at the centre of British life who are human beings," Morgan explained at the screening (via Press Association). "If you're hoping that tries to pick holes in the royal marriage, I wouldn't dream of it. Their marriage is a triumph by any standards."

"If you're close to someone for that long you're going to have ups and downs and I didn't want the show to duck complicated relationships," he said.

The Queen and Prince Phillip recently celebrated their their 70th wedding anniversary – the longest marriage of any royal couple.

Meanwhile, The Crown season 2 returns to Netflix on December 8.

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