The Crown’s Prince Andrew actor explains how he empathised with disgraced royal

The Crown star James Murray, who plays Prince Andrew in the forthcoming fifth season of the hit Netflix drama, has explained how he was able to empathise with the disgraced royal.

Prince Andrew was stripped of his military affiliations and royal patronages earlier this year, after Virginia Giuffre brought a US civil case against him for sexual assault – claims he consistently denied.

In March, he paid a financial settlement to Giuffre thought to be worth up to £12m.

In an interview with The Independent, Murray, 47, talked about how he managed to find common ground with the Prince, who he is portraying in the Nineties – the decade the royal’s wife, Sarah Ferguson, was pictured having her toes kissed by American financial manager John Bryan. The couple got divorced in 1996.

“It wasn’t as challenging as you might think [to empathise with him], because we’re not dealing with the Andrew who’s been so much in the press recently, in season five, we’re dealing with a young man who’s going through marital strife,” Murray said.

“And he’s kind of broken hearted. The way [writer] Peter [Morgan] dealt with it, had Prince Andrew not been in the royal family and surrounded by the protocol that went with it, he would have preferred to have stayed with Sarah Ferguson, but he understands that he had to divorce her because of toegate and everything around that.

“So for me, the empathy, I’m a married man, I’ve been married for 15 years. There are ups and downs, as there are in any marriage, so you’ve got to explore what it would be like to go through a divorce that has been forced upon you, that you’d rather not go through.”

James Murray and Prince Andrew (Netflix, Getty)
James Murray and Prince Andrew (Netflix, Getty)

Murray added: “That was my way into finding empathy and not judging him on what then comes further down the line. They were very different times, and he was a very different man, arguably. The man Peter gave me to work on was not the man I’ve read about in the press over the past few years.”

The Crown season five begins on Netflix on 9 November. Read The Independent’s two-star review of the new series here.

Last week, Prince Charles actor Dominic West revealed that the new season will portray the infamous “tampongate” scandal between the now King and Camilla.

In the 1989 phone call that was leaked to the press, the then Prince Charles told his mistress at the time, now the Queen Consort, that he wished he could be reincarnated as a tampon so that he could live inside her.

West said his research showed him “how badly Camilla was treated” at the time.