Queen Elizabeth II used to watch The Crown via a projector, actor Matt Smith claims

Matt Smith, who played a young version of the Duke of Edinburgh in the popular royal drama, claimed the former monarch watched the show on Sunday nights

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The Queen used to watch episodes of The Crown via a projector on Sunday nights, actor Matt Smith has said.

The British actor, who played a young version of the Duke of Edinburgh in the popular royal-drama, said he wanted to return to the UK to experience the “ceremony” of the monarch’s state funeral – due to be held on Monday.

Smith starred opposite Claire Foy for the first two seasons of the show, which also featured John Lithgow as Winston Churchill.

It has long been speculated as to whether any members of the royal family watched the hit series, or what their opinions of it were.

Queen Elizabeth II
Queen Elizabeth II
Matt Smith
Matt Smith

Mr Smith said: “I heard the Queen had watched it, and she used to watch it on a projector on a Sunday night apparently.

“I know that Philip definitely didn’t.

“A friend of mine sat next to him at a dinner once and he asked him… apparently he turned ’round to him and said ‘don’t be ridiculous’.”

Mr Smith revealed his desire to return to the UK for the funeral on Monday, saying: “I think it’s a piece of history.

“I think I just want to be in London. I want to experience it, I want to share in the ceremony of it really.”

He added that whereas his mother wanted to go to witness the procession, he would most likely watch the service “in a local pub with a group of friends”.

It comes after Foy spoke of the honour of playing the Queen on screen, describing the late monarch as a “massive symbol of continuity and dignity and grace," he told NBC.