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The surprising member of the royal family who is most popular among royal staff.

When we think of the most popular members of the royal family many come to mind.

You might think of Meghan Markle, or maybe cheeky Princess Charlotte.

But apparently the most popular member of the entire royal family among palace staff is actually… Prince Philip.

According to Matt Smith from The Crown, who plays Prince Philip, his research found him to be the most loved of everyone.

“All the research I did found him to be brilliantly funny, very clever, very popular,” Smith said of the 97-year-old in an interview with Variety

“In the Royal house he’s the most popular of all of them. If you’ve talked to any of the staff, Philip’s the one they all love really,” he added.

The 35-year-old actor added that Prince Philip is incredibly cheeky.

“There’s a sort of rebellion in him and a naughtiness and a cheekiness,” he said.

“I think he’s quite affable and open by all accounts with the staff. They all love him.”

While Prince Philip retired from royal duties when he was 95, his love story with Queen Elizabeth II is eternal.

For those who didn’t watch The Crown on Netflix, the courtship of the Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth II wasn’t a short one.

In fact, the couple first met at a wedding in 1934 when the then Princess was just eight years old and Philip – who was her distant third cousin born into the Greek and Danish royal families – was 14.

1957 cover story in TIME says that five years later, in 1939, when Prince Philip was reportedly asked to escort Elizabeth and her sister Margaret during a tour of Dartmouth, the future Queen was “besotted” with him and the two began exchange letters. Queen Elizabeth was just 13 at the time.

Some seven years later, Elizabeth and Philip were engaged in secret after a courtship brimming with uphill battles and remarkable hesitation on behalf of Elizabeth’s father, King George VI.

There are also stories of Prince Philip being incredibly cheeky during his courtship with Elizabeth.

In June 1946, Philip Eade writes that Philip wrote to the Queen apologising for the “monumental cheek” of having invited himself to the Palace. “Yet however contrite I feel,” he wrote, “there is always a small voice that keeps saying ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ – well did I venture and I gained a wonderful time.”

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