An upcoming satirical comedy that was due to mock the royal family has been delayed by the American broadcaster HBO Max following the death of Prince Philip.
The creators of the £5 million cartoon series The Prince, which was set to debut in late spring, have postponed the show's release after the Duke of Edinburgh's death on April 9 at the age of 99.
The animated series was created by Family Guy producer Gary Janetti and revolves around a fictional version of Prince George and his family.
A new satirical animated comedy about the royal family has just got the green light. The Prince, produced by Family Guy’s @GaryJanetti, will be based on his famous Instagram account - and #OrlandoBloom is reported to be voicing Prince Harry. Watch this space. pic.twitter.com/Fx5N9i0i7m— Sunday Times Style (@TheSTStyle) January 22, 2020
However, following the Duke of Edinburgh's death, the network confirmed the upcoming series has been delayed, with a new date to be 'announced at a later time'.
The series has not announced whether the show will be aired by a UK broadcaster but head of HBO Max Global Andy Forssell last year said the American network was looking to expand to Europe during the second half of 2021.
In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter HBO Max said: 'We were saddened to learn of Prince Philip's passing and will adjust plans for the series debut. A new date will be announced at a later time.'
It is unclear if the Duke of Edinburgh's character, which was voiced by actor Dan Stevens, will be redrawn before the show airs but a source told The Hollywood Reporter that the series did not paint Prince Philip and the Queen in the most flattering light.
Last year, creators of the animated series were accused of 'taking cheap shots' after a trailer of the upcoming show appeared to mock Prince George, with critics saying the young royal could be adversely affected by his portrayal in the eight-part series.
A producer for rival Disney Studios said: 'It's one thing for film-makers to play fast and loose with the truth in shows like The Crown but poking fun at a seven-year-old child seems cruel and unfair.
'Some things should be off-limits. It's morally wrong to use a child to get cheap laughs.'
While TV critic Katherine Singh said: 'It's important to remember George is still a child who has had no say in his lot in life.
'What we say about people, even those who seem untouchable like the Royals, can seriously and negatively affect people. Prince George is old enough to know what's going on.'
Clips from the cartoon showed Prince George sitting on a throne saying: 'Hey guys, it's me, Prince George… I know self-isolating is difficult and we're all sick of being stuck in the same 775 rooms, or, you know, studio apartment, it's different for everyone.
'Stay positive and be nice to your serving staff. They're doing the best they can, even though lunch ******* sucked today.'
However Mr Janetti, who first began making jibes at the the royal family on his Instagram account, defended the show.
He said: 'I would hope that he would find it super funny and have a sense of humour about it, and obviously see that everything is meant with affection.'
Prior to the show's broadcast a synopsis by the show's creators read: 'Before George rules Britannia, he'll be laying down his own laws in Janetti's comedic take on the future King of England's childhood as seen from the prince's own point of view.
'Because his succession isn't coming any time soon, in each episode George will find his path in life as a young prince in modern times — from the 775 rooms of Buckingham Palace to his family's sea of corgis to primary school with commoners.
'The Prince also features notable characters in George's life such as his parents the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, his fourth-in-line-for-the-throne little sister Charlotte, his modern Aunt Meghan and Uncle Harry, his great-granddad Philip, and—who can forget—his Gan Gan Elizabeth.'
The show will see Janetti as Prince George, actor Orlando Bloom as Prince Harry and American actress Condola Rashad as Meghan Markle.
Lucy Punch will voice Kate Middleton, Iwan Rheon will play the role of Prince William and Frances De La Tour will take on the role of Queen Elizabeth.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.