A republican in Buckingham Palace? – leader comment

Tobias Menzies, who plays Prince Philip in Netflix series The Crown, says he’s “more of a republican”.
Actor Tobias Menzies in one of his roles in OutlanderActor Tobias Menzies in one of his roles in Outlander
Actor Tobias Menzies in one of his roles in Outlander

A republican playing the role of Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh? Outrageous! Off with his head!

Tobias Menzies, known for his roles in Outlander and Game of Thrones, is starring as the Queen’s husband in the upcoming series of Netflix’s The Crown.

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However, he told the Radio Times that he was “more of a republican” and that he would “think about turning down an OBE if ever offered one”, explaining that he had a feeling that the honours system “entrenches privilege”.

It’s probably safe to say that Menzies will have to be spectacularly good in the role to be remotely considered for an honour now, so it’s rather unlikely that he will be forced to have the final internal moral debate about accepting one or not.

Cynics might point out he didn’t say he definitely would say no and the choice of OBE was perhaps telling – “Sir Tobias” would surely be more tempting. Hands up who can honestly say they’d turn down the chance to become a ‘knight of the realm’? But despite all that, Menzies is entitled to his views even if they are at odds with the character he’s playing. He is, after all, only acting.