Doctor Who star Matt Smith felt affinity with Philip in The Crown

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Matt Smith said he was surprised at the fondness he developed for the Duke of Edinburgh after taking on the character in new drama The Crown.

Matt Smith in The Crown (Netflix)
Matt Smith in The Crown (Netflix)

The actor, who plays the Queen's husband in the Netflix series, said he "didn't expect" to end up loving the at times controversial royal.

Matt Smith in The Crown (Netflix)
Matt in The Crown (Netflix)

The 34-year-old began to think he shared some personality traits with the young Prince Philip, he told the Times Magazine.

The actor said he believes in chivalry, adding: "But I'm all the s*** things that are opposite to chivalrous. I'm also a f****** c*** when I want to be. You'll have to asterisk that.

"And that's like Philip, is my point. He is chivalrous and virtuous and he's loyal, and I like to think, in my friendships and my relationship, I value loyalty, but... I can be difficult and I can be acerbic and I can be cruel."

Matt Smith in The Crown (Netflix)
Matt in The Crown (Netflix)

The new 10-part series follows life inside the royal family and government, beginning with the wedding of the Queen - then Princess Elizabeth - in 1947 and continuing until the Suez crisis of 1956.

Costing a reported £100 million, the drama features lavish sets, with scenes recreating events in Westminster Abbey filmed on location at Ely Cathedral.

He stars alongside Wolf Hall actress Claire Foy, who plays the Queen and American star John Lithgow who depicts Sir Winston Churchill.

John Lithgow stars in The Crown (netflix)
John Lithgow stars in The Crown (netflix)

Matt, who became famous in his role as Doctor Who, also told the magazine of the devastation he suffered as a teenager when a back injury ended his footballing hopes.

Claire Foy and Matt Smith (Robert Viglasky/Netflix)
Claire and Matt (Robert Viglasky/Netflix)

He said while acting had come naturally to him, he took GCSE drama as "something to do", and followed through thanks to the persistence of an encouraging teacher.