Matt Smith (‘The Crown’ season 2) on Prince Philip, similarity to Meghan Markle, and who will play him next [EXCLUSIVE VIDEO INTERVIEW]

“It’s very nice to be back in the saddle,” says Matt Smith about returning to “The Crown” for season 2, which premieres on December 8. Smith plays Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II (played by Claire Foy), and the new season sheds new light on him. “We learn so much more about Philip this year, about where he comes from, his history, his heritage, and the things that make him tick. And also the tragedies that he went through as a young boy, which were vast actually … Hopefully that gives us a fresh perspective to look at him nowadays and understand perhaps why he is the way he is.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Smith above.

But this is the last season for Smith in the role of Prince Philip. “The Crown” will explore the lives of Elizabeth and her family through the decades, and the third season will age the characters into the next stage of their lives. Olivia Colman has already been announced as the new Elizabeth, but who will play Philip? “I can’t tell you obviously, but I do have an inkling,” Smith teases about who will be taking over his role next year. “Whoever they get I know would be a consummate and brilliant actor. If they get the person I think they’re going to get, he’s fabulous.”

Exploring the royal family over decades is “a really interesting approach to modern drama,” and “The Crown” is even more interesting now that it’s premiering against the backdrop of modern day royal news: Prince Harry, the grandson of Philip and Elizabeth, recently announced his engagement to American actress Meghan Markle. That goes to show how far the royal family has come since Philip joined the clan 70 years ago. “One has to remember that Philip technically was Greek,” Smith explains. “He was for all intents and purposes a foreigner as well … I like now that it’s not an issue, that there’s no debate. For Philip it was quite difficult, but for Meghan it doesn’t matter … Hopefully, in this day and age, you can come from anywhere and marry anyone, and that’s how it should be.”

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