What happened to Cecilie? The ‘favourite sister’ Prince Philip tragically lost in 1937

In The Crown season five we see Prince Philip discussing grief over the loss of his sister

Whenever you’re watching The Crown, everyone is guilty of Googling every last thing that is said and every person who is introduced to see what the story behind it is in real life. In season five we are introduced to the friendship between Prince Philip and Penny Knatchbull, and in one scene they are discussing the grief they have both had in their lives, following the death of Penny’s daughter. Prince Philip says he understands her pain, as he lost someone called Cecilie.

This isn’t the first time the tragic death of Cecilie has been mentioned in The Crown, but during this episode not a lot of context is given as to what happened. We did see the moment in a flashback scene in season two, but there are huge gaps between seasons of The Crown on Netflix, so you’ll be forgiven for not completely remembering the context.

Prince Philip discussing death of his sister Cecilie in The Crown season five on Netflix

via Netflix

Prince Philip’s sister Cecilie died in an airplane crash in 1937

Princess Cecilie of Greece and Denmark was the sister of Prince Philip, and she died in an airplane crash in 1937, aged 26. Cecilie was married to a German noble, and went into labor whilst she was onboard a plane. The pilot attempted an emergency landing to get her to a hospital, but the plane hit a building.

There had been bad weather, and the pilot reportedly hadn’t spotted the building, a chimney of a factory, because of fog. The plane then hit the roof of another building, before catching fire. Everyone onboard was killed, including Cecilie’s newborn. On that flight, travelling with Princess Cecilie, was her husband, mother-in-law, her young sons and Lina Henar, the children’s nurse.

The Princess was married to Georg Donatus, the Hereditary Grand Duke of Hesse. They had three children when Cecilie died, two boys and one baby daughter. The Duke of Edinburgh was 16 when he lost his sister.

The Crown season five is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

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