He may be about to appear in one of the most popular regal dramas around, but actor Tobias Menzies has admitted he’s far from a royalist.
Tobias is set to appear as Prince Philip in the third series of Netflix’s The Crown, taking over the role from Matt Smith, whose portrayal of the Queen’s husband previously earned him an Emmy nomination.
However, in a new interview, Tobias admitted he’s actually “more of a republican”.
Speaking to Radio Times, he explained: “Instinctively I don’t love the idea of hereditary power. But given that there isn’t a lot of power attached to that role, maybe it’s a good idea.”
Tobias continued: “I’d definitely think about not accepting an OBE. Inherently I don’t massively agree with the honours system. It feels like it entrenches privilege.”
He did have some praise for Prince Phillip, though, describing him as a “real wit”.
More full of praise for the royals was Olivia Colman, set to succeed Claire Foy in the role of Queen Elizabeth II.
“I’m one of those rare leftwing monarchists – very conflicted. Many countries don’t have one continuum and I’m pleased that we do. I like the fact that some extremes couldn’t happen because she’s there,” she said, also describing the Queen as the “ultimate feminist”.
Olivia explained: “She’s the breadwinner. She’s the one on our coins and banknotes. Prince Philip has to walk behind her. She fixed cars in the second world war. She insisted on driving a king who came from a country where women weren’t allowed to drive [King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, at Balmoral in 1998].
“She’s no shrinking violet.”
Joining Olivia and Tobias in the new series of The Crown will be Bafta nominee Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles and Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret.
The third series of The Crown will debut globally on Netflix this Sunday, 17 November.
Read Tobias and Olivia’s full interview in the new issue of Radio Times, out now.