The new season of The Crown has arrived, and it explores several historical points between the years of 1977 and 1990.
One thing viewers were wondering ahead of new episodes was how the Netflix show would depict Prince Andrew. These are the first episodes to have been written since allegations against him surfaced after he was linked to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
In 2015, one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, alleged that she was forced to have sex with Epstein and Prince Andrew, a claim that the Duke of York has denied.
Prince Andrew stepped back from his royal duties in November 2019 after a widely criticised BBC interview in which he defended his friendship with Epstein. The broadcast was described as “disastrous”
One particular scene in The Crown’s new season seems to be a direct response to the claims.
It occurs in the fourth episode, titled “Favourites”, which sees Queen Elizabeth speak alone with each of her children to see how they are.
Prince Andrew's scene sees him fly in on a royal navy helicopter for a lunch with his mother. While there, the Queen addresses recent headlines about her son's possible relationship with “a young, racy American actress”.
“You mustn't believe what you read,” Andrew tells her. He then proceeds to discuss the film this star is in, the 1976 coming-of-age film The Awakening of Emily.
“It's set in the 1920s and follows an impressionable, nubile 17-year-old girl,” he says, to which the Queen responds: “17? I'm not sure I want to know more.”
He continues: “Don't be such a prude, mummy. The story is that she returns home from a finishing school in Switzerland to her mother's country house in the English countryside.
“There, she meets several twisted and perverted older predators who seduce the vulnerable, helpless young Emily as we follow her induction into sensual pleasures.”
After he tells the Queen that the film was shot at the Wilton house near Salisbury, she asks: “Are you sure it was even legal?” His response: “Who cares?”
Later in the episode, during a sit down with Philip to discuss their children, she expresses concern about them all.
“As for Andrew – I was shocked,” she says.
The episode was written by showrunner Peter Morgan.
The Crown is available to stream on Netflix.