By Cailey Rizzo
August 25, 2018

On the world stage, Queen Elizabeth may overshadow every other member of the royal family. In the media, the younger generation — Will and Kate and Harry and Meghan — may inspire adulation. And legions of fans seem to go crazy over the chubby cheeks of George, Charlotte, and Louis. But youth, good looks, and fame can’t get you real popularity.

According to actor Matt Smith from the Netflix show “The Crown,” his character, Prince Philip, is the most popular person in the royal house.

“All the research I did found him to be brilliantly funny, very clever, very popular,” Smith said in an interview with Variety. “In the Royal house he’s the most popular of all of them. If you’ve talked to any of the staff, Philip’s the one they all love really.”

Philip is “a bit more of a man of the people,” Smith continued. “I think he’s quite affable and open by all accounts with the staff ... They all love him.”

Perhaps Philip’s appeal is due to the fact that he deliberately tried to avoid popularity when Elizabeth came to the throne. “It would have been very easy to play to the gallery, but I took a conscious decision not to do that,” he once said, according to a biographer. “Safer not to be too popular. You can’t fall too far.”

Although just because Philip is popular doesn’t mean it’s easy to win his affection. Meghan Markle had to work hard to win his approval ahead of her marriage to Prince Harry. She researched the family history and impressed Philip with “her boldness.” Real recognizes real.