Fans have branded writers of the latest series of The Crown ‘merciless’ for writing a scene which depicts a 22-year-old Prince Andrew discussing a ‘young, racy American actress’ he is dating.
The fourth series of the hit Netflix show, which debuted on Sunday, sees Prince Andrew, played by Tom Byrne, tell the Queen (Olivia Colman) about an erotic film his girlfriend stars in, where she plays a 17-year-old who is seduced by ‘perverted older predators’.
While the line refers to Koo Stark, a real woman the Duke of York dated from 1981 and 1983, viewers will no doubt see it as an unsubtle nod to the scandal surrounding the royal, who was accused by US-born Virginia Roberts Giuffre of having sex with her when she was 17 in 2001. Prince Andrew has denied all accusations.
Fans have branded writers of the latest series of The Crown ‘merciless’ for writing a scene which depicts a 22-year-old Prince Andrew discussing a ‘young, racy American actress’ he is dating
‘It’s set int he 1920s, and follows an impressionable, nubile 17-year-old girl, Koo,’ Andrew’s character explains to his mother in the scene.
’17? I’m not sure I want to know more,’ the Queen replied.
‘Don’t be such a prude, Mummy,’
‘The story is that she returns home from a finishing school in Switzerland to her mother’s 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,’ he adds.
The Queen appeared visibly distraught by her son’s tale, and soon asked: ‘Are you sure it was even legal?’
To which Andrew replied: ‘Who cares?’
Prince Andrew, pictured in January 2020, was not portrayed in a good light in the fourth series of the Netflix drama
Fans of the show claimed this was a reference foreshadowing Prince Andrew’s friendship with the late billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein died in August 2019, and the Queen’s second son stepped back from official engagements a year ago in the wake of his disastrous BBC interview regarding the scandal and his friendship with Epstein.
Viewers said they were left ‘sick to [their] stomach’ by the royal’s description of the film.
Viewers said the show and its creator Peter Morgan did not hold back on their portrayal of Andrew
‘Season 4 is low key merciless on Prince Andrew, and I approve,’ one fan said.
‘The Crown are really out to get the royals this season…that chat between the Queen and Prince Andrew,’ said another.
‘Peter Morgan really said f*** Prince Andrew and you love to see it,’ one wrote, referencing the show’s creator.
‘Listening to the Prince Andrew character describe, and delight in the description of, The Awakening of Emily made me sick to my stomach,’ one said.
Young upstart: Prince Andrew showboats by arriving at the grounds of Windsor Castle piloting a navy rescue helicopter and has a conversation with the Queen (pictured)
Newcomer Tom Byrne, 26, a recent graduate of Bristol’s Old Vic theatre school, stars in series four of the hit Netflix show as Prince Andrew which debuted Sunday
The series tells the tale of the tough times the UK faced under Margaret Thatcher’s premiership, as well as their royal family’s life from 1977 to 1990, which will see the Duke of York navigate his twenties. Prince Andrew is pictured in 1984
Did Prince Andrew really date a ‘young, racy, American actress?’
The Crown’s claims: Prince Andrew dated a ‘young, racy American actress’
Prince Andrew showboats by arriving at the grounds of Windsor Castle piloting a navy rescue helicopter.
He tells the Queen he wants to discuss his title that he will be bestowed when he gets married, with the pair discussing a ‘young racy American actress’. The monarch says: ‘I’m not sure which of those words makes my heart sink most.’
Andrew describes a film in which the actress stars in called The Awakening of Emily, which is ‘set in the 1920s and follows an unimpressionable 17 year old girl who 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 and helpless young Emily as we follow her induction into sensual pleasures.’
When the Queen questions if the film is ‘even legal’, Prince Andrew tells her: ‘Who cares?’
Prince Andrew tells his mother that he will ‘insist on going’ to war in the Falklands if there is a conflict. He also asks her for her assurances that she will not stand in the way if he wants to go to war.
The facts: At the time, the press dubbed the young prince ‘Randy Andy’ due to the many women he was linked with.
The ‘young, racy, American actress’ that the Queen refers to is almost certainly Koo Stark, an American photographer and actor who the prince dated between 1981 and 1983.
Stark appeared in the avant-garde film that Andrew mentions, including The Awakening of Emily (1976), playing a 17-year-old ‘innocent’ who is seduced by a series of older characters.
Andrew did serve aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible, and as a Sea King helicopter co-pilot during the Falklands War.
The government wanted to reassign Andrew to a desk job for his own safety. But Andrew – and his mother – insisted that he be allowed to fight, which he did, flying numerous missions during the war.
THE VERDICT: MOSTLY TRUE
‘The writers going OFF on Prince Andrew and his disgusting creepy a***,’ said another.
‘The Crown sure didn’t tiptoe around this Prince Andrew portrayal,’ one wrote.
‘Oh heavens. The writers of#TheCrown have had a blast writing this scene with Andrew,’ said another.
The on-the-nose reference also wasn’t missed by newcomer Tom Byrne, who plays Prince Andrew.
Speaking to the Evening Standard about his role, Tom, who lives in Brixton, south London said: ‘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.
‘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.
Tom, who has also starred in Black Mirror and A Discovery of Witches, began filming the Golden Globe-wining series in autumn last year, just as Prince Andrew’s disastrous Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis aired, where he was questioned on his friendship with Epstein.
In the BBC interview, the Duke of York infamously said he was at Pizza Express Woking on a night he had been accused of going to a night club with Virginia Giuffre, adding that he couldn’t sweat due to a rare medical condition.
Describing it as ‘an odd time’, Tom said that he made a ‘concerted effort’ to avoid reading stories or watching the interview as he ‘didn’t need to bring his own judgement into the role’.
Further Andrew appearances on The Crown did nothing to redeem him in the eyes of the fans.
Another scene later in the series showed the Duke of York complaining about the Queen on his wedding day to Sarah Ferguson.
This came after an article was fed to the Sunday Times by the Queen’s communication officer Michael Shea, reporting a rift between Prime Minister Thatcher and the Queen.
Moments before the royal family were to head out for the festivities, Andrew could be heard saying: ‘Thanks to the Queen’s inexplicable lapse of judgement, the newspapers are full, not of Sarah and me, but of Mummy’s rift with the Prime Minister.’
This led Charles, played by Josh O’Connor, to call Andrew a ‘fringe’ member of the royal family, with Prince Edward, played by Angus Imrie calling his older brother ‘impressively c*****.’
Fans shared their thoughts on the show’s treatment of Andrew on Twitter, where they noted the series was particularly ‘merciless.’ when it came to the Duke of York.
This came after Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher referred to her son Mark as her ‘favourite’ child.
In another scene, Prince Charles, played by Tom O’Connor, called Andrew a ‘fringe’ member of the royal family on his wedding day to Sarah Ferguson
JEFFREY EPSTEIN’S UNDOING: A TIMELINE OF THE MILLIONAIRE PEDOPHILE’S DOWNFALL
1999 – Virginia Roberts Giuffre is allegedly recruited by Ghislaine Maxwell to became Epstein’s ‘sex slave,’ at 17. She also claimed that he forced her to have sex with his friend Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth.
2002 – Trump tells New York Magazine that his friend Epstein ‘likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.’
2005 – A 14-year-old girl tells police that Epstein molested her at his Palm Beach mansion.
May 2006 – Epstein and two of his associates are charged with multiple counts of unlawful sex acts with a minor. State attorney of the time Barry Krischer, referred the case to a grand jury who heard from just two of the 12 girls law enforcement had gathered as potential witnesses. They returned just one single count of soliciting prostitution.
July 2006 – The case is referred to the FBI by the Florida Palm Beach police who were unhappy with how the case was handled.
2007 – Epstein’s lawyers meet with Miami’s top federal prosecutor Alexander Acosta, who would later become the Secretary of Labor in the Trump administration. They secretly negotiate the ‘deal of a lifetime’.
June 2008 – After pleading guilty to two prostitution charges, the millionaire was sentenced to 18 months in a low-security prison in exchange for prosecutors ending their investigation into his sex acts with minors and give him immunity from future prosecution related to those charges. In reality, Epstein was able to work from his office six days a week while supposedly incarcerated at the jail.
July 2008 – Accusers learned of the deal for the first time.
July 2009 – Epstein is released from jail five months early.
July 2018 – The Miami Herald publishes investigative journalist Julie K. Brown’s exposé on Epstein’s long history of alleged sexual abuse and news of the ‘deal of a lifetime’ after Acosta was made Labor Secretary.
February 2019 – The justice department opens an internal review into Epstein’s plea deal.
July 7, 2019 – Epstein is arrested after his private jet lands at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport from Paris. At the same time, federal agents break into his Manhattan townhouse where they uncovered hundreds of photographs of naked minors.
July 8, 2019 – Epstein is charged with sex trafficking charges which detail how he created a network of underage girls in Florida and New York, paying girls as young as 14 to provide ‘massages and sex acts.’ The charges carry a sentence of up to 45 years in prison.
July 11, 2019 – More than a dozen women, not previously known to law enforcement, came forward to accuse him of sex abuse.
July 24 – Epstein was found unconscious in his cell after an apparent suicide attempt. He was moved to suicide watch at the Metropolitan Correctional Center.
August 9, 2019 – More than 2,000 documents are unsealed which reveal the lurid allegations against Epstein in detail.
August 10, 2019 – Epstein is found dead in his cell.