The Crown's Prince Andrew Speaks Out About the Royal's Scandal

by 24USATVNov. 16, 2020, 9 a.m. 74
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Following the highly anticipated casting of Emma Corrin in the role of Princess Diana, The Crown chose another relatively unknown actor for a key royal part. Tom Byrne plays Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth's second son, this season.

Byrne is a graduate of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and in the past has had small parts in the shows A Discovery of Witches and Black Mirror, according to his listing on the UK casting agent portal Spotlight. He also performed in the Royal Shakespeare Company's 2018 production of A Christmas Carol.

In real life, the Duke of York stepped back from his royal duties last November, amid controversy surrounding his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. In response to growing scrutiny following Epstein's death by suicide last August, Prince Andrew recorded a disastrous interview at Buckingham Palace to address his relationships with Epstein and his alleged contact with Virginia Roberts, who has stated that she had sex with Prince Andrew while she was 17 and a victim of sex trafficking by Epstein. Prince Andrew has vigorously denied this accusation.

The alleged incident took place in 2001 and 2002, well beyond the timeline of The Crown's fourth season which will focus on the late 1970s and 1980s. And in a recent interview with the Evening Standard, Byrne shared that he made “a concerted effort to avoid” recent coverage of the Queen's son.

“People are going to bring their perceptions of Prince Andrew to watch [him in] The Crown anyway, I didn’t need to bring my own judgement to it,” he said. “I thought the best thing I can do is to switch that part of my brain off. It just wasn’t useful to me to engage with that stuff - particularly as I was only playing [him as] a 20-year-old.”

While Netflix made the surprise announcement earlier this year that the show's fifth season will be its last, the streaming giant recently changed their mind, confirming there would, indeed be a sixth season, but it's unclear exactly what the timeline for The Crown's final chapter will entail.

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