The Queen's Christmas message was met with more excitement than usual this year, as fans of The Crown thought they had heard in it a subtle reference to the hit Netflix series.

The Queen began her address by recalling her first televised Christmas broadcast, in 1957.

"Sixty years ago today, a young woman spoke about the speed of technological change," she said.

"She presented the first television broadcast of its kind. She described the moment as a landmark."

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"Six decades on, the presenter has evolved somewhat, as has the technology she described. Back then, who could have imagined that people would one day be watching this on laptops and mobile phones, as some of you are today?"

That 1957 speech – a clip from which appeared in this year's broadcast – features prominently in the second series of the TV show, which stars Claire Foy as the Queen.

To some viewers, the Queen's reference to video-streaming technology – and to the plot of that episode – has been interpreted as a wry nod to Netflix.

It's not the first suggestion the Royal family may have been watching the show.

Last month, Vanessa Kirby (who plays The Crown's Princess Margaret) told reporters at a London press conference: "We did hear from someone that the Queen had watched it – which is so scary! The thought of her sitting up with her crumpets in bed ... I've got this vision of it. But [they say] Philip hasn't, which I also love."

In May, the Sunday Express claimed the Queen had been encouraged to watch the show by her sun and daughter-in-law, the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

"Edward and Sophie love The Crown," an unnamed source told the newspaper.

"It has been a longstanding arrangement that they drive to Windsor at the weekend to join the Queen for an informal supper while watching TV or a film," the source continued.

"They have a Netflix account and urged her to watch it with them. Happily, she really liked it, although obviously there were some depictions of events that she found too heavily dramatised."

Skeptics might suggest that the Queen's reference to her 1957 speech was more likely to be inspired by the fact of its 60th anniversary, rather than its appearance in a TV drama.

Nonetheless, that hasn't prevented a number of fans from making the same joke about the overlap between art and reality: the Christmas speech, they complained, has given away "spoilers" for future seasons of the show.