The The fifth season of “The Crown” introduces a new character that aroused the interest of many. It is about Lady Penny, the friend of the Duke of Edinburgh that the series suggests, was something more.
A new character appeared in the fifth installment of the Netflix series, The Crown, which tells the story of the British Royal Family. This is Lady Penny, a woman who revolutionized the life of the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II.
This new season is the first time we see her, a young woman marked by a tragedy in her family who, after this, became a close friend of Prince Felipe, with whom she shares more than one hobby.
Played by actress Natascha McElhone, she drew the attention of fans who were unaware of this woman in Felipe's life, the only person who attended his funeral who was not part of the family.
But who really is this woman who, as the series suggests, would have jeopardized the relationship between Philip and Queen Elizabeth II.
Lady Penny: No Noble Origin
When Penelope Knatchbull, or rather Lady Penny, came to the world of royalty, she was very foreign to she. She was born in London, in 1953, when Queen Elizabeth II was in her first year of reign.
His parents probably never thought he would become involved with London's elite, however, Reginald Eastwood, his father, who was a butcher, became a millionaire by founding a chain of restaurants, the “Angus Steakhouse”.
This allowed her to educate her children in exclusive schools. Lady Penny attended a boarding school in Switzerland, and then the London School of Economics.
At that time he began to rub shoulders with the London aristocracy and met Norton Knatchbull, the third Earl Mountbatten of Burma, grandson of Louis Mountbatten and godson of the Duke of Edinburgh, S Moda reported.
It was at this time that Lady Penny first met Felipe, at a polo match in 1975, when she was 22 and he was 55.
Soon young Penelope became engaged to and married Norton in the summer of 1979, however that summer an IRA attack killed Louis Mountbatten, King Charles II's favorite uncle and Norton's maternal grandmother. , Doreen Knatchbull, and her brother, Nicholas.
The wedding took place in October of that year, in a ceremony in Hampshire, making Penelope a countess.
The wedding was attended by King Carlos III, who was Norton's godfather, since, in addition to his cousin, he was one of his best friends, something that is reflected in the series.
Her relationship with Philip of Edinburgh
Among the topics that are touched on in the series is the tragedy that struck Lady Penny. After they were married, the couple had three children, Nicholas, Alexandra, and Leonora.
The latter suffered from cancer. A tumor was found in her kidney and they could not save her, so she died on October 22, 1991.
According to the series, the death of the little girl would have been the catalyst for the closeness between Lady Penny and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Something that is real, since Felipe helped Lady Penny find a new hobby in the midst of her mourning. Ingrid Seward, author of “Prince Philip Revealed indicated “It was Philip who encouraged Penny Romsey (now Countess Mountbatten) to take up carriage driving”, adding that ”she expressed an interest in what called 'that driving thing' and asked if it would be possible to teach his daughter's pony”, Vogue reported.
This united them in a close friendship, which is why they could be seen in public on countless occasions, but not only alone, but also accompanied by the Queen or other family members.
Lady Penny was usually a guest at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, an equestrian show that takes place annually in England, where you can see competitions in dressage, jumping, carriage driving and endurance races.
Their closeness is also shown in Felipe's importance in Lady Penny's family, as he was the best man at their daughter Alexandra's wedding.
For the same reason, Lady Penny was one of the 30 attendees at Prince Philip's funeral. This year she also attended the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
Although the series does not make it clear, it does suggest that there was a close relationship between Lady Penny and Philip of Edinburgh.
It is in chapter 6 where you can see Queen Elizabeth II, played by Imelda Staunton, annoyed by the closeness between the two, alluding to the significant age difference between them.
But what's real in that chapter. The truth is that rumors have always been there, however, it is also true that it has only been speculation.
“There is nothing to suggest that the Queen's relationship with her husband became further estranged from the 1990s onwards. In fact, the opposite appears to have been the case. By a considerable distance, theirs was the longest marriage in royal history” Royal historian Tracy Borman told History Extra.
For his part, Philip of Edinburgh referred to the issue in 1991, when he was asked about a possible infidelity. Queen Elizabeth II's husband indicated “By God, woman. Have you ever stopped to think that for many years I haven't moved anywhere without a police officer accompanying me? So how could he have done something like that without anyone finding out?”.
In 2010 Felipe was once again a support for Lady Penny, after her husband, Norton Knatchbull, left her to go to the Bahamas with another woman.
Although over the years, Lady Penny forgave her husband, this would have deeply upset Philip, but also Queen Elizabeth II, who did not forgive Norton's action, slogan Hello!.
The Crow: A fifth season focused on Diana and Carlos
The relationship of Philip of Edinburgh and Lady Penny is one of the themes that is touched on in the Netflix series which during this season changed the cast and focused on what the Royal Family experienced during the 90s.
This installment addresses the relationship of the children of Queen Elizabeth and their partners, being the moment when the three older brothers decided to separate.
Of course it focuses on the relationship between Diana, played by Elizabeth Debicki, and Carlos, played by Dominic West.
While the couple tries to live a second honeymoon, the conflicts that were already dragging on are unleashed and they decide to end their marriage.
It was in this context that the series deals with the interview conducted by the BBC journalist, Martin Bashir, in the program “Panorama”, to Princess Diana of Wales.
The interview was explosive and caused a stir in the public, due to the level of the princess's statements, although the series reflects Bashir's strategy to get the interview, deceiving Diana.
It was only in 2021 when the BBC recognized his bad performance and apologized to Princes William and Harry, King Charles and Count Spender.