“The Prince coming soon to HBO Max,” writer-producer Gary Janetti teased April 4 of the animated series he created as a satirical take on Britain’s royal family, with Prince William and Duchess Kate’s son George as the title character. The series was expected to bow in late spring on HBO Max, but five days after Janetti’s post, Prince Philip died at 99.
According to a source, the series does not portray the husband of Queen Elizabeth in the most flattering of ways, as evidenced in the above still from the series that shows him in a decrepit state. Though the show, like Janetti’s wildly popular Royal-focused Instagram, is clearly tongue-in-cheek, it appears the streamer isn’t taking any chances with those who are grieving.
HBO Max confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that it has delayed The Prince debut. “We were saddened to learn of Prince Philip’s passing and will adjust plans for the series debut,” a rep confirms. “A new date will be announced at a later time.”
It is unclear if Philip’s character (voiced by Dan Stevens) will be redrawn or if any story changes will be made before the final product hits the air. A rep for Janetti did not respond and there appears to be no promotional materials for the series on HBO Max’s website. The cast includes Janetti voicing Prince George, Orlando Bloom as Prince Harry, Lucy Punch as Duchess Kate, Condola Rashad as Meghan Markle, Iwan Rheon as Prince William and Sophie Turner as Princess Charlotte.
Journalist Robert Jobson, a Royals expert and New York Times best-selling author, has a new book out June 1 about the family patriarch, Prince Philip’s Century: The Extraordinary Life of the Duke of Edinburgh. He understood the delay in the series debut, saying, “The depiction of the Duke of Edinburgh as an old buffoon is a little cheap and unnecessary and at this moment in time it may be out of place, but satire has been going on for centuries.
“He had a sense of humor about his time and he obviously would’ve taken this with a pinch of salt. He might’ve even made a joke about it — he was very funny,” Jobson continued, adding that despite his declining health in his later years Prince Philip lived a bubbling life filled with activities like oil painting and growing truffles. “He set himself goals and he did it.”
This story first appeared in the May 5 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.