The Crown’s Tobias Menzies wants to abolish the monarchy and may reject OBE

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The actor received an Emmy nomination for the first time on Tuesday for his performance as the Duke of Edinburgh in the hit Netflix drama about the Royal Family. Mr Menzies’ nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series was one of 24 picked up by The Crown including acting nods for stars Olivia Colman, Emma Corrin, Josh O’Connor, Gillian Anderson, Helena Bonham Carter and Emerald Fennell. The show, which has previously won 10 Emmy’s, was tied with Star Wars spin-off The Mandalorian for the most nominations this year whilst both shows are also up for Best Drama series.

Mr O’Connor who played Mr Menzies’ on-screen son Prince Charles reacted to the nominations saying: “This is amazing!

“Thank you to the Academy for this tremendous send-off.

“It has been such an honour to be a part of this beautiful family for the past three years, and to share this recognition today with Emma, Olivia, Gillian, Helena, Emerald, Tobias, Peter Morgan, and the entire cast and crew of The Crown just means the world.”

In 2019, Ms Colman and Mr Menzies make their respective debuts as the Queen and her abrasive but witty husband.

Yet in an interview weeks before he debuted in the Netflix Original, Mr Menzies stressed he remained a “republican” and that he did not support the monarchy.

Mr Menzies, who attended fee-paying schools before studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, also said royal life would be “very boring” and claimed he would consider rejecting an OBE due to his problems with institutional privilege.

He told Radio Times: “I’m still more of a republican, and 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.

“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.”

The actor made sure to stress an admiration for the Duke, however, praising Philip for working hard and being energetic in his duties, despite not always being comfortable with his role as the Queen’s husband.

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Though the Duke of Edinburgh often found himself at the centre of controversy, whether it be rumours of unfaithfulness, as depicted in the first two seasons of The Crown, or his many, well-documented gaffes, Mr Menzies sympathised with the royal.

Even if Philip was susceptible to making off-colour comments, the actor believed it is difficult to walk into a room of people intimidated by the presence of royalty.

Upon the passing of Prince Philip in April, Menzies announced on Twitter that he was not qualified to comment on the Duke’s passing despite having played him for two seasons.

Matt Smith, his predecessor in the role, was quick to tweet: “Prince Philip was the man. Thank you for your service, old chap – it won’t be the same without you.”

In contrast, Menzies simply stated: “If I know anything about the Duke of Edinburgh, I’m fairly sure he wouldn’t want an actor who portrayed him on TV giving their opinion on his life.”

Last week Menzies explained the tweet to the i: “After spending two years playing him and thinking about him, of course Prince Philip’s death saddened me in a very different way from if I had not played that role.

“But if I’m completely honest, I never met the man.

“I’ve read some books about him and thought about him and thought about how he moves or how speaks and stuff, but do I know him? I absolutely don’t.”
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