Prince Philip’s special ‘friend’ Penny Knatchbull is mourning privately


I’ve seen some young commenters claim that because there was no solid proof that Prince Philip was a serial adulterer, then it never happened. Yeah, that’s not the way it worked. Philip was from a generation where discretion was paramount. Just because he didn’t flaunt his affairs doesn’t mean he didn’t have mistresses all over the place. And hell, he wasn’t even *that* discreet, it’s just that most of his torrid affairs happened during a time when the British press thought it was their duty to avoid covering it. In later life, Philip had several younger companions, and many of those companions were friendly with the Queen as well, because that’s how these people operate. No one was closer to Philip in his later years than Penelope “Penny” Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma. She practically moved into Wood Farm to spend time with Philip in his final years, although I do not know if she was allowed anywhere near Windsor Castle during the pandemic, which is where Philip had to stay. The Mail had a piece about Penny’s private mourning:

As the Queen mourns her beloved husband, one of Prince Philip’s closest friends and confidantes, Penny Brabourne, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, is also grieving. The Countess was a regular visitor at Wood Farm, the cottage on the edge of the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk where the Prince spent much of his time after retiring from public life in August 2017.

The pair were firm friends for decades and shared a love for the exhilarating equestrian sport of carriage-driving. Indeed, the 67-year-old Countess enjoyed such a close bond with the Queen and Philip that Palace staff reportedly nicknamed her ‘and also’, because no guest list was considered complete without her.

The only daughter of butcher-turned-businessman Reginald Eastwood, she was propelled into the Royal Family through her marriage to Norton Knatchbull, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma. The Earl was a close friend of Prince Charles – the pair attended Gordonstoun together and Charles was Norton’s best man when he married Penny in 1979. The wedding was delayed for eight weeks because five months earlier, IRA bombers blew up a small boat in the sea off Mullaghmore, County Sligo, killing Norton’s grandfather, Lord Mountbatten. Norton’s 14-year-old younger brother, Nicholas, his paternal grandmother the Dowager Lady Brabourne, and a local boy who was with the family, also died in the terror attack.

Penny is understood to have formed a close friendship with the Queen and Prince Philip after her daughter Leonora contracted liver cancer and died aged five in 1991. Philip taught the Countess carriage-driving in 1994 and she became his regular companion for the sport. Royal insiders say her enthusiasm for carriage-driving is one of the reasons he continued to take the reins into his late 90s. He was pictured carriage-driving in the grounds of Windsor Castle as recently as 2019.

The Countess’s loss of her daughter was not the only turmoil she endured. In 2010, Lord Brabourne abandoned her and started a new life with another woman in the Bahamas. The affair fizzled out, however, and he returned in 2014 to Broadlands, the home he shares with the Countess. The 60-room Palladian mansion in Hampshire is where the Queen and Philip spent part of their honeymoon. Members of the Royal Family, the Queen in particular, were reportedly full of admiration for the way the Countess insisted that life on the historic estate must go on as normal after her husband’s affair.

[From The Daily Mail]

Even though Penny and Philip were not related, there is an incestuous vibe to all of this with the Mountbatten connections and I’m not going to bother to untangle it. All I know is that Penny and Philip were very close for decades and the Queen knew and she was fine with it. It would not surprise me at all if Penelope was one of the first people to know about Philip’s passing, nor would it surprise me to learn that someone might have arranged for Penelope to say goodbye to him in person. I wonder if she’ll be invited to the funeral. Whew.

PS… This Mail story was a prime example of the British media’s flair for euphemisms and coded language.

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128 Responses to “Prince Philip’s special ‘friend’ Penny Knatchbull is mourning privately”

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  1. PC says:

    Penny can sit next to Angela Kelly at the funeral.

    • Doulton says:

      The current Countess Mountbatten–Penny– spent a lot of time with Prince Philip and they were very close. Her carriage racing with him helped to keep him alive and vital (from all that I can determine). Also she has not once spoken with the press as far as I know. Lady Pamela Hicks has given a few public interviews which might indicate that she is out of favor (of course Pammy has no money since Patricia’s children sold the lot for almost 7 million).

      Penny was comforted by the royal family when her daughter died and when her husband ran off with somebody named Jenny McNutty–or something like that. She is the type of “stay strong” and avoid the press friend that the royal family must cherish for her discretion. She and Prince Philip shared decades of close friendship.

      Mostly her inclusion will remind me a bit of the way that Queen Alexandra called for Edward VII’s mistress, Mrs. Keppel, to come to his death bed. And that, of course, reminds me that Mrs. Keppel’s great granddaughter is Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. In the meantime, back in the day, Mrs. Keppel was supported financially by Sir Ernest Cassel who funneled money to her husband, Mr. Keppel. For more fun, Sir Ernest Cassel was grandfather to the first Countess Mountbatten of Burma who owned Broadlands, where Prince Philip and the Queen spent part of their honeymoon. Now it is managed by Penny, Countess Mountbatten.

      Do NOT confuse Philip’s friend, Penny, Countess Mountbatten (b. 1956) with Penny Mountbatten (b. 1966,).

    • seanne williams says:

      How sad that a man and a woman cannot be friends without all this unfounded nonsense being talked about by pompus people who have nothing better to do than destroy others reputations

  2. Cecilia says:

    Anybody else think that its weird the mail would publish this? Especially this week

      • JanetDR says:

        Thanks for the link!

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Thanks for the link. That was one great article that all British Royal Watchers should read!

      • Sunday says:

        Excellent analysis, thanks for sharing!

      • Harper says:

        Great article and writing @Amy Bee. Thanks for the link!

        I particularly loved this line: “The foreign press — free from the snarl and bite of British libel laws — has reported extensively on Prince William’s alleged peccadillos, which are not a new line of nuts from Duchy Originals… “

      • Great link, AMY BEE. I loved that line too, HARPER. I also loved the line where he says, the best description of the family is…”more like nuclear waste than nuclear family.” Very revealing. Thank God, the Sussexes got out. Harry knows every little thing about him this visit will be used as coin to pay the 🐀Rota piper so I’m sure he’s as cautious as hell. Can you imagine having to guard your tongue and your actions around most of your family because you have absolute proof they will sell you out right down to what you’ll wear at the funeral? I saw a headline yesterday that said ‘Queen to decide whether to allow use of HRH for Harry in official funeral service memorial name listing.’ Now who leaked that?

      • Madelaine says:

        There was payback from the queen: she too had a side cock = Andrew’s biological father.

      • TQ says:

        @Amy Bee Really helpful. Thanks for posting.

  3. boyd says:

    There’s a Countess Mountbatten of Burma???

    • Malificent says:

      That’s what I keep wondering. I’m pretty sure that Myanmar does not consider itself a British earldom. So, why is this title still being dragged out 70+ years after the colonization of Burma ended?

    • bettyrose says:

      Seinfeld voice: Isn’t it call Myanmar now?

    • Me says:

      The wreckage of their empire is a millstone about Britain’s and the royal’s collective throat. OG Lord Louis was CINC PAC during WWII and was made an Earl for his pains, but it’s past time they dropped the ‘of Burma.’

    • nievie says:

      yep…its hilarious how all the displaced aristocracy in the UK and across Europe desperately cling to their obsolete titles. Their whole existence and stolen wealth is due to the exploitation of now many independent nations…I wouldn’t advertise that IMO. Prime example is Phillip of Greece….:S

  4. Lauren says:

    There was a media researcher on Twitter suggesting that this was published on the actual paper because the RF was not sharing fast enough Harry and Meghan’s plan, especially because the special editions did not sell well and the BBC received a lot of complaints on the excessive coverage of Philip’s death. As soon as this came out a few hours later the news that Harry would not be wearing a uniform to walk behind his grandfather’s casket started circulating. This is crumbs when compared to the access that they had when the Sussexes were still in the firm, but beggars can’t be choosers and they chased their golden egg-laying chickens off their isles.

    • Myra says:

      I kind of agree with this take. They really are hostages in this incestuous relationship with the media.

      • Cecilia says:

        This is also why there won’t be a reconciliation because as long as the firm can’t stop “leaking” falsehoods, harry won’t want to be friendly with them.

  5. Restless bitch face says:

    All of this would be icing on the cake for The Crown. That Charles was the best man at Penny’s wedding, and Phillip took up with her…that’s so ew. And delightfully trashy. LOL *shrug*

  6. Nev says:

    Oh for Pete’s sake.

  7. bettyrose says:

    This is exactly why I’d love a real biography of Prince Philip, no holds barred. I can read all about European history, but I want the juicy details of the weird incestuous goings of the 20th century nobility/royalty. Game of Thrones sans dragons. (And an honest accounting of nefarious political associations.)

  8. Amy Bee says:

    I think she should be invited to the funeral but she won’t be. The Royal Family has to maintain the image of the Queen and Philip being a devoted couple for 73 years. There’s a good blog post about the Daily Mail’s motivation to write this story. It was done to let the Royal Family know that they have dirt on them and if they dare to break the invisible contract the press will turn the public against them as they did to Harry.

    • As I said yesterday. I think this ….private grieving….was all agreed to before Phillip died. Both Penny and Phillip deeply respected the Queen and all 3 of them played the aristo game that has been in place for centuries. Kate was the one who didn’t want to play the game and her trying to marginalize and ghost such a high ranking, titled aristo caused that group to circle the wagons and shut her actions down. Kate wasn’t born to that world, but William thought Kate would go along. Trouble I bet was that William’s Rose-trimming wasn’t a minor bed hop like his other infidelities, but perhaps was settling into a long term mistress situation instead. Kate wasn’t having it, so she went nuclear and William went incandescent. I know many biographers have mentioned that Diana’s reactions to Charles were the ones none of that class could understand because she was one of them and knew thats how marriages of that group are lived. As Charles himself said, “I’m not going to be the only Prince of Wales in history without a mistress.”

      • BayTampaBay says:

        “Trouble I bet was that William’s Rose-trimming wasn’t a minor bed hop like his other infidelities, but perhaps was settling into a long term mistress situation instead.”

        @Lowcountry Lady – I completely buy all that you are saying; BUT shagging BALDOMORT??? I can see Rose wanting a “companion” but I have no doubt that she could do better than an incandescent with rage BPwBT. LOL!

      • L84Tea says:

        @BTB, I have always wondered this and I’d like your opinion. Do you think it’s possible that Rose possibly “decided” on William as a choice for a romp not only for the status of it, but also as a way of sort of “laughing” at Kate? It’s obvious that the Toffs find her to be a joke, so I wonder if it was a powerplay and a bitch-move all rolled in one. Thoughts?

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @L84Tea – BOTH! I think Rose wanted the “feather on her cap” that comes from “doing” the FFK of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but I think it was more about putting Ms. Buttons in her place. IMPO, this is more than being about “class” and being an upstart. There are rumors that I have heard from a person in Norfolk that Keen was not doing ANY work for EACH but trying to take credit for the success just because she is the ROYAL Patron. Both Rose Hanbury and David Rocksavage are deeply involved on ALL levels with EACH.

        Also, I know Rocksavage is said to be a switch hitter that plays for both teams but I find him very attractive on so many levels. I cannot even say I find him attractive for an “older man” as he is only 2 years older than I am and is 11 years younger than my husband. Rocksavage was quite “cute”, much like Harry, in his younger days and of course Houghton Hall comes with him as part of the package.

        The only reason I give any credibility to the idea that the affair was not with Rose and she was only a beard and facilitator for Baldingham is that Baldingham is so much of a lower standard and come down compared to her husband. Talk about the lowering of one’s standards, Rose could have any aristocratic or self-made billionaire companion-confidant she wanted so why choose old incandescent with rage Baldy. If she really wanted a side piece she really should have set her sites higher on someone like the Duke of Richmond, Gordon and Lennox who would have been my choice if I was a Turnip Toff looking for some action and entertainment.

      • A says:

        @Bay, it’s worth considering the type of person Rosebush is though. The articles I’ve dug up on her all have the same detail about her parents. They were titleless aristo-adjacent trust-fund types who were super into partying with their friends, even now. It seems like all of the Hanbury kids grew up to become the party-going, free-wheeling fun types themselves, who don’t take life or relationships too seriously, except when they found the opportunity to make a socially strategic marriage. Rose met David Rocksavage at a party in some estate in Italy. They weren’t even dating for a year before she VERY conveniently got pregnant, & they rushed down the aisle to ensure that the kids would be legitimate. They didn’t even have a proper society wedding.

        But I think that both of them were pretty upfront abt their respective intentions going into the marriage. I don’t think Rose expects fidelity from her husband, & neither does he. Her husband got the family & the heirs he needed, his wife got the title, money, & the status she wanted, & both of them seem to have similar vision & ambition when it comes to the management & promotion of their estate. I think they care about each other a lot, & enjoy spending time together, & they certainly enjoy their family life, & that’s probably enough for them.

        The reason I bring this all up is bc, given what we know abt Rose’s history/personality, I think she had a fling with William, but it wasn’t something long term, let alone serious. I don’t think she’s looking for anything more than a good time, & neither was he. I think she dropped him before long, bc she got bored & there’s no way the sex was that good once the novelty wore off. I don’t think Baldy is out here looking for anything long term either, & he’s definitely not seeking to fall in love with anyone. I think he moved on to someone else before long, & I don’t think Rose is particularly invested in covering for him, or loaning his estate for him to have a place to f-ck. I would imagine he could go to Carole for that sort of thing, bc she would be invested in keeping that sh-t quiet for all their sakes.

        I also don’t think that it was Baldy’s adultery that drove W&K apart. I think that was inevitable, no matter what, from the day they got together. I think the reason that Kate got upset abt Rose is bc Rose triggers Kate’s deepest insecurities. Rose is Kate’s aristo-adjacent twin, but Rose had a much easier time of sailing to the top than Kate, got a happier life out of it all, w/ none of the requisite insecurities that Kate has. Meanwhile, Keen had to work for everything she got, & even that isn’t enough for her to be really accepted into the fold by these people, even after all this time. After 20 years of trying desperately to gain that acceptance, knowing it’s still withheld from her has got to sting. Watching someone be happy & free of the insecurities you carry & can’t shed is usually what drives people like Keen to do what they do–you only have to look at her bald-faced lying abt Meghan to see that. If she tried to pull that sh-t with Rose, even quietly & behind the scenes, I don’t blame Rose Hanbury for putting Katie Keen in her place one bit.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @A – Thanks for your wonderful response. I agree with all you have written. I believe in 5-10 years we will get the whole truth which will be very interesting from a gossip point of view.

        I also don’t blame Rose Hanbury for putting Katie Keen in her place one bit. Also, I think Katie Keen went after Rose because she could not go after William in the way Diana went after Charles.

      • L84Tea says:

        Great responses!

  9. ShazBot says:

    They were close for like 25 years…I hope they include her.

    • February-Pisces says:

      Even longer than that, there are pictures of them dating back to 1975. I think she must have played quite a big part in his life for decades.

  10. Pétulia says:

    I want the same type of article about Rose. Not saying it but saying it. I’m so sick of the perfect image of the Cambridges.

  11. Watson says:

    She’s a good looking older lady. That being said, aristocratic life just seems so full of affairs and weirdness. I can’t imagine carrying on with a married man for so long. Or how much it would hurt to not go to his funeral even though everyone knows about us like suddenly optics are an issue. Or having my husband leave me for another woman and accepting him back after 4 years?

    Like none of this makes sense to me.

    • molly says:

      It’s all VERY Dominic West and Catherine FitzGerald, isn’t it?

      And this article was such a delightful throwback to how the papers used to talk about Charles and Camilla. I love a “close female confidant”. That’s never a problem in a marriage.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      All of this is totally accepted in the British Toff circles.

      • Cecilia says:

        Its the same talk point the royal rota uses to explain the whole situation with rose hanbury. She was a close friend of wills nothing more! And she just happened to fall out with kate

    • Harper says:

      I think Penny would have gone to the funeral if it wasn’t during covid restrictions. But with only 30 attendees, the press would really want to know how this lone acquaintance scored a seat.

      • Nailed it HARPER. Discretion is everything. In a group of 30, she’s a red flag. In a crowd, she’s one of many.

      • Dee says:

        I think we would have seen a story even if there was a crowd at the funeral. All of them know why she’d be there.

      • A says:

        She’s not a lone acquaintance though. Her husband and his family is closely related to Prince Philip in a pretty significant way. Penny Knatchbull is Countess Mountbatten, and Philip is obviously Philip Mountbatten. She is still married to her husband, and therefore a part of that family. Someone from that side would have to be invited to Philip’s funeral, and her husband is otherwise incapacitated–he’s ill and stepped down from doing any of his public duties associated with his title in 2014. It’s been Penny Knatchbull and her daughter who have been doing all the work him for all of these years, and Penny Knatchbull has been showing up on behalf of the Mountbatten family as their representative for all this time. According to at least one article, “she has been a fixture at every royal event of consequence”, and those invitations would have to have been extended to her by the Queen.

        But her association with Philip is something that goes well beyond just being Philip’s affair partner. Philip’s uncle, Louis Mountbatten, is Penny Knatchbull’s grandfather-in-law. Louis Mountbatten is the one who took Philip under his wing, brought him to be educated in Britain, signed him up for the navy, and campaigned heavily for him to be married to the Queen. Philip owes his fortunes to this family and his association with them, and the Mountbattens, in turn, benefit heavily from their close relationship to the Queen from this union.

        It’d be really surprising if she didn’t turn up for the funeral. There’s no way an invitation wouldn’t have at least been extended. There would need to be someone who is there to represent the Mountbatten side of the family, and there’s really no one else who can do that except for her, or her daughter.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @A – My theory is Penny will be at the funeral as the “escort” for 91 year old Lady Pamela Hicks, the only surviving daughter of Lord Louis, the Earl Mountbatten of Burma. After Lady Pamela Hicks, Penny Knatchbull is the senior female of the Mountbatten family.

    • L84Tea says:

      I agree Watson. She is a very handsome woman.

    • Gab says:

      She looks good for her age. Also, she’s an adult and all, but she’s much closer to the age of Philip’s children.

    • Waitwhat? says:

      I wonder if it’s because traditionally royal and aristo marriages were transactional; they were about building alliances between nations or families, gaining or consolidating wealth and/or power, and producing the next generation. Love and monogamy as we think of them didn’t come into it (and actually I think the concept of marrying for love is, relatively speaking, quite a recent development. Arranged marriages are still common in many cultures).

      For all the religious and moral values we ascribe to it, marriage is a social construct and the Queen’s more so than most. It would surprise me more if, over 73 years, they were each able to provide the other with everything they needed, especially given the time they had to spend apart, the demands of their respective roles, and the inevitable changes they must have experienced (especially given how young they were when they got married).

  12. BusyLizzy says:

    In the photo taken in the car, she looks like an older version of Diana.

  13. Iris says:

    As an Irish person, it annoys me that the DM can’t seem to give the “local boy” who died in the terror attack his name. Use his name too.

  14. tcbc says:

    He certainly had many affairs, and this woman appears to be the last mistress standing. But I don’t know…if my husband cheated on me throughout our marriage – and for some reason I couldn’t or didn’t want to leave him – I wouldn’t invite his mistress to his funeral, either. I shouldn’t have to endure public humiliation for his sins. And I certainly wouldn’t want to hurt our children and grandchildren or have them be publicly humiliated, either.

    We don’t know if he wanted her at the funeral at all. But even if he did, I would give his desire for her presence at his funeral the same consideration he gave my desire for her absence during our marriage.

    And as for the mistress, well…you’re the mistress. Part of the deal is that you’re not “official,” which means you don’t get the official rights of the publicly recognized partner. You knew the deal, now handle the consequences.

    • A says:

      She isn’t just any old mistress. She is still the wife of Norton Knatchbull, who is related to Philip from the Mountbatten side of his family. They are the closest relations Philip has in the UK, and depending on Norton Knatchbull’s health, there is a fair chance that he likely won’t make it to the funeral, which would mean that Penny, Philip’s mistress, would have to be the one to attend to represent that side of the family, officially. There is no way the Queen would fail to invite someone who, again, belongs to a family that was so close to Philip.

      The regular old rules for mistresses don’t fly with this set of people. Hence the reason why Kate trying to “freeze out” Rose Hanbury from their toff set was a huge social faux pas. You can f-ck anyone’s spouse you like, but god forbid their husband or wife behave poorly to you in social settings. A funeral is one such social setting, the Queen is the most old fashioned one out there. You can bet that she’ll be “gracious” and extend Penny an invitation.

      • Carolind says:

        What about Pamela Hicks. She was Mountbatten’s second daughter and is the sister of Penny’s late mother-in-law. If she is still standing and there is to be a Ountbatten representative it will be her.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Carolind – As I said in my comment above, I think Penny will “escort” the 91 year old Lady Pamela Hicks to The Duke of Edinburg’s funeral.

      • MaryContrary says:

        Apparently, Diana never got that aristo memo though-she hated Camilla from the get to.

    • Emily_C says:

      Caroline, the Prince Regent’s official wife*, got in big trouble with the British aristocracy because she took exception to his flaunting his affairs directly in her face. Being treated like nothing is what you get when you marry the heir in the British royal family, and even princesses of other countries did not expect that.

      *He was already married to a Catholic widow. But that marriage was “secret”, meaning there were a whole lot of caricatures about it in the papers and everyone knew but had to pretend not to know. So he was a bigamist, and Caroline was not his wife, and in fact she said something about only having committed adultery once, with Mrs. Fitzherbert’s husband. Reading history books about this time by English historians is weird, because they still tend to step carefully around what an utter scumbag the future George IV was.

      • Polly says:

        Jane Austen loathed him and was firmly on Team Caroline.

      • Emily_C says:

        @Polly: Yes! And he loved her work, so she had to visit the palace when he invited her and dedicate Emma to him when one of his courtiers told her she would be “allowed” to do so. She was not pleased about that.

        I think it’s highly fitting that in Persuasion, her last novel and my favorite, her aristocratic heroine finds happiness by marrying out of the aristocracy.

  15. Lyds says:

    Her carriage-riding outfit (if that’s what it is) is ultra-chic/cooler than anything I’ve ever seen Kate (or even Meghan) wear. The proportions, cut and color palette are superb, not to mention the texture/quality of the fabrics. The hat, however, doesn’t go. Shame.

    I can’t imagine being the companion of someone 32 years my senior. She is younger than Charles and got to know Phillip as someone in his children’s circles, not as an adult on their own. It would be as if Diana became Phillip’s companion….ugh, I can’t with these people.

  16. Lucy says:

    I didn’t know a child of hers had died. Her life sounds interesting and sad. I guess living in a 60 room castle would give got enough space to let a charter move back in?
    These people don’t live like us.

    • Talia says:

      The thing is, it’s his ancestral home. If she didn’t want to live with him, she would have to move out. Not only has running the estate been her full time career for most of her life, her daughter who died is buried there. Aristocratic women of her generation don’t get divorced anyway but she would have even more to lose than most.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Her husband, Norton Norton Knatchbull, does not live in the ‘big house” with her and other family members but lives in the Dowager Cottage which really is a 6-bedroom mini-mansion or as the British say a “guest lodge”.

      • A says:

        @Bay, I think that Norton Knatchbull is also not in any fit health to run the estate himself. Normally, his son might step in, but uh, his son is kind of a flunkie in his own right as it turns out, which means that the work of running the place falls to Penny, and her daughter Alexandra, who it’s said also does the bulk of the work required here.

      • Carolind says:

        Her daughter is buried in the grounds of that house. She will apparently never leave it.

    • MaryContrary says:

      She’s a graduate of the London School of Economics too-she’s no dummy.

  17. candy says:

    She is a very beautiful woman, and could have been a model in her youth. I think the Queen too had her longstanding affair with Porky, whose facial features are very present in Eugenie (wink wink), which also explains Andrew being 10 years younger than his other siblings. I think Aristocrats in England pretty much have open marriages, even thought they aren’t “poly” in the traditional sense.

    • MCG says:

      OMG Candy… I just googled up Porchy and ummmmm SPITTING image of Eugenie and the pedo. Wow….

      • candy says:

        Isn’t he!? I am glad it’s not just me.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Candy – I have said the same thing many times. Pedo looks more like the current Earl of Carnarvon than he does his own Windsor-Mountbatten brothers and sister.

    • I’ve always believed Andrew is Poochie’s son. I think Phillips’ win in ‘going along with claiming him instead of forcing an abortion’ —— was Andrew was the first child of their marriage where the Mountbatten-Windsor surname was used on his birth certificate. Game, Set, and Match. Man, those ‘English Aristo Marriage Rules’ are too dark for my blood. As BETTYROSE said (comment #7) above……..’Game of Thrones sans dragons’. (I mean can you imagine if it was ever revealed, that the Queen — Defender of the Faith—- had a lover’s child or an abortion?). But man he looks just like Poochie. Whereas, last child —- Edward —- looks just like Queen’s father.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex always reminds me of The Duke Kent with regards to his looks which comes from the Danish genes in the family.

      • candy says:

        This is fascinating. It completely explains the whole naming debacle around Andrew and the shift in the marriage after that, as well as Andrew being the “favorite.” The resemblance to Poochie is undeniable. I know all these people people are cousins anyway, but in this case it really shows.

    • A says:

      See, I’d believe it, but then I looked up Philip’s father, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark…and the resemblance is there as well.

      Not to mention, Eugenie looks an awful lot like the Queen Mother as well. So there’s some wiggle room here for speculation, honestly. But I’d like to believe that Prince Andrew is born out of an affair. You know it’d piss him off that people think that of him, given how status conscious he is, and how closely he holds onto his status as a royal.

      • candy says:

        Eugenie would look like the Queen Mother regardless? I don’t see a resemblance between Prince Philip’s father and Andrew, personally.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Candy – I do not see the resemblance between the two Andrew’s either. The Duke of Kent looks more like Andrew Glucksburg than the Duke of York does.

        I have always thought that Princess Beatrice resembles Queen Victoria.

        QEII carries the same Danish genes via her great-grandmother Queen Alexandra as does Philip through his father but QEII”s are just not as adjacent and strong.

      • A says:

        I see it in the hair and the face. Both are dark-haired and balding, and both have round faces. But there is something of a resemblance there, at least for me, but like I said. The idea of Andrew being the Queen’s affair child, and the aspersions that could cast on his heritage, probably bothers him a great deal, and that alone makes it worthwhile for the rumours to keep going around, if you ask me.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        “if you ask me.”

        @A – I always ask you as you have such wondaful, knowledgeable, and witty opinions! Please keep up the hard work!

  18. February-Pisces says:

    I think she was his camilla, they have been close for about 45 years. I think it must be difficult to be that close to someone for that length of time and to then almost be airbrushed out of their history. She was definitely dedicated to him, to still be there until he almost 100.

    One thing I’ve noticed about aristo side chicks is that they don’t asked to be upgraded to wife status. They don’t demand their husbands leave their wives. They are just happy being the mistress.

    • Gab says:

      They truly lead a different lifestyle.

    • Waitwhat? says:

      Like I said above, I wonder if it’s because traditionally royal and aristo marriages served a different purpose, and so expectations are different? Or perhaps monogamy is just seen as dreadfully bourgeois, darling…

    • BayTampaBay says:

      “She was definitely dedicated to him, to still be there until he almost 100.”

      As was Sasha, The Duchess of Abercorn until her illness & death.

      ” I wonder if it’s because traditionally royal and aristo marriages served a different purpose,”

      Yes! Produce the Heir and Spare then do what you want with either team. Just do not do it in the street and frighten the horses.

    • Isabella Saxon says:

      Probably they do mind. But they can’t do anything about it. It must be humiliating at times. Imagine weddings, birthdays, dinners and other events, where you are always deferring to his spouse. Nobody likes to share.

  19. khaveman says:

    So this is how the queen “divorced” him years ago… by setting up an understanding he would see other people.

  20. KitKat says:

    I’ve heard about this relationship for years and I’m far from naive. But given the UK’s stiff class structures, what are the chances that the middle-class daughter of an average business man that made some money would go on to graduate from the London School of Economics in the mid-70’s and then marry the heir of the Mountbatten family? What if she is Philip’s love child?

    I haven’t done the math on how closely related she may be to her husband, but I think it’s just as much of a possibility as her being his long term paramour. I’m not much younger than Penny when she allegedly started her romantic relationship with Philip and I can’t imagine dating a man 70+ years old right now. Particularly in the days before Viagra.

    • Well that’s an interesting possibility, KITKAT.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      @KitKat – Do not forget that Sophie Helen Rhys-Jones, a girl from the UK and the middle-class daughter of an average business man that made some money, married The Earl of Wessex soon to be The 2nd Duke of Edinburgh.

      This is the UK so believe that anything, good, bad or disgusting, is completely possible!

      • Kate says:

        True. But that was many years later and it’s different to marry the 3rd son of the Queen (royalty about to be pushed way on down the line of succession) than it is to marry the heir to one of the top aristocratic families in the UK back in the 70’s.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Anthony Armstrong-Jones, a Vogue photographer, the nephew of a gay renowned artist (Oliver Messel) and the son of a DIVORCED mother, one Anne Messel (aka Tug Boat Annie Messel because she went from Peer-to-Peer), married the King’s second daughter and QEII’s only sister when said sister was third in-line to the throne in 1960 so I still believe that anything anything, good, bad or disgusting, is completely possible with respect to aristocratic marriage in the UK! LOL! LOL!

    • candy says:

      Very interesting. If true, it would explain why Charles walked her daughter (Alexandra Knatchbull) down the aisle (in addition to her dad being a complete douche). The families are extremely close. I see a slight resemblance between Alexandra and Phillip’s mother. Anything is possible in those circles!

      • A says:

        I mean…Philip’s mother is Louis Mountbatten’s sister. And Alexandra Knatchbull is Louis Mountbatten’s great-grand daughter. So it makes perfect sense that there is a slight resemblance between Alexandra and Philip’s mother–they are, after all, actually related.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        Philip’s mother was quite a looker in her day. She was one of Edward VII’s favorite grand-nieces as her grandmother Alice, The Grand Duchess of Hesse and by Rhine was Edward VII’s favorite sister

      • KitKat says:

        If you visit and zoom in on the wedding photo, Philip appears to be beaming at Penny while everyone else looks at the camera. I really think she may be his daughter. (And Andrew is Porchy’s son…)

    • MaryContrary says:

      She wasn’t middle class though- her father was extremely wealthy and she was educated in Switzerland prior to going to LSE.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      That is a very intriguing and plausible theory KitKat. In some ways makes more sense than ‘confindante’ or ‘mistress’. In looks alone she could be his daughter-similar jaw line, nose(similar but different), eye coloring?, she seems tall and lean like him and carries herself well(posture). The question would be who is her mother. The one listed or someone else altogether. Back then a love child or whatever would have been more scandalousous than an affair for the Queen’s Consort. Even now maybe, but sh@t happens.

      The link you provided was a pretty interesting read. Yea, he was looking at her while everyone else was looking forward. I didn’t see it as a lacscivious look-more like a feeling of happiness, maybe?.

      The information I found on her parents seems kind of limited. Penny’s Dad was a butcher and then in the mid 60’s the Angus Steakhouses were founded…so I don’t know she was born into a wealthy family. Though excellent butchers can make a lot of money (know some). Then Reginald sold the at what point did he become wealthy and was able to send his daughter to Switzerland & LSE for schooling? Some of the Brits here might have better information.
      Through her listed parentage I didn’t see a possible relation to the Windsor’s or Mountbattens outside of her husband. Maybe missed something?
      Honestly, I would see her being the ‘and also’ more because she was a daughter than a lover. I don’t know. But, I would think that the Queen riding in the backseat of a car with her husband’s daughter instead of lover, is more tenable. That might just be the way some of us think.

      We can all make connections where there is no basis for it. Like Philip’s and Penny’s names both start with P’s and he was/is the the Earl of Merioneth and her 2nd name is Merideth. Was she guided to her husband so she could have the Mountbatten name too? It’s slightly fun to posit all the possibilities. At the end of the day, Penny seems to be a pretty decent person and quite lovely, who put up with a lot stuff in her personal life. And, Philip seemed to enjoy being around her. Thank you KitKat for the deep dive into the rabbit hole we may never know.

      Penny Knatchbull may just be a really great family friend.

  21. Carolind says:

    Philip is also rumoured to have had an affair with Princess Alexandra who is the Queen’s cousin and whose mother, Princess Marina, was Philip’s first cousin.

    He was also close to another Duchess in the times before Penny, the Duchess of Abercorn? (Sasha). She is an older sister of the Duchess of Westminster and was also related several generations back to the Russian royal family as was Philip.

    Going back to Penny, at the time that these tape recordings of Diana – Squidgygate – and Charles/Camilla were released, there was one of Philip and an upper class woman thought to be Penny. However, Penny’s husband was sometimes in the background.

  22. emu says:

    “exhilarating equestrian sport of carriage-driving” lol.

  23. A says:

    A few salient points here–

    1) Penny Knatchbull is the current Countess Mountbatten of Burma, and the Baroness Brabourne. She is still married to her husband, who is the Earl Mountbatten of Burma. Given that, she probably counts as a Mountbatten relation, which means she’ll probably be at the funeral, unless she chooses to not go in order to free up a spot for someone else to go.

    2) Her husband, Norton Knatchbull, was a f-cking dumbass who, as the article states, ran off with his mistress to the Bahamas. He didn’t divorce his wife, he just up and left. And then he came back after his mistress dumped him, and she’s been taking care of him in all this time. While I don’t know the exact dates here, I imagine that him leaving freed up a considerable amount of time for Penny to pay attention to Philip.

    3) Charles actually walked Penny Knatchbull’s daughter down the aisle during her wedding. Again, the official news was that he did this bc her father wasn’t doing so well, but there were also other rumours that she doesn’t get along with him bc of what he did to her mother. I think Charles is also Penny Knatchbull’s godfather, but I’m not fully sure. Philip is also one of her kids’ godfathers. How’s that for incestuous.

    4) The whole family, save for Penny and her daughter Alexandra, seem like hot messes from the top to bottom. Which is in keeping with the Mountbatten family tradition, if you ask me.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Normally I would assume she’d be invited but in a pandemic with only thirty spots, it is doubtful. They have a big family.

      • A says:

        Again, Penny Knatchbull is the current Countess Mountbatten. Philip is related to her husband’s family, and the association with him and the Mountbattens is quite famous. She would show up to the funeral in that capacity, as a representative of that side of the family. There really is no one else who can show up aside from her.

      • liz says:

        Pamela (Mountbatten) Hicks, if her health allows, would be the most likely Mountbatten representative. She’s Philip’s first cousin and a childhood friend of the Queen, but she’s also in her 90s.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        As I said above, I think Penny will be there as the “escort” of 91 year old Lady Pamela (Mountbatten) Hicks.

  24. Talia says:

    Penny Knatchbull strikes me as the template for Carole’s leaks about Kate – a hard working aristocratic woman who has held together a messy family with serenity and poise. If she had an actual affair with Phillip, they (and the Queen) played by the rules for such affairs in a way Charles and Camilla (and Diana when she started fighting back) didn’t.

    I think Phillip was one of those men (usually wealthy and upper class) who genuinely doesn’t see love / affection for their wives and being faithful to them as having any connection whatsoever. I’m thinking Jeffrey Archer, Alan Clarke and Boris Johnson as other examples.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      I would add Edward VII and Duff Cooper, Viscount Norwich to your awesome your list.

    • A says:

      I mean, let’s not put Philip in the same category as Boris Johnson. I doubt Boris Johnson is capable of feeling affection for anyone except himself on a good day. I’m sure Philip doesn’t see fidelity as a requirement for love in a marriage, but he’s hardly a self-centered goon like Boris Johnson.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @A – I see Boris as highly frivolous with bad case of Adult Attention Disorder. The last thing in the world that Prince Philip was is frivolous

  25. Monica says:

    I gotta say—all this dirt is deeeeeLICIOUS!!!

    • BayTampaBay says:

      This is the best gossip thread CB has given us since the thread when we had an excuse to have long winded discussion on Princess Anne and Andrew Parker-Bowles.

  26. Likeyoucare says:

    The looks on philips face watching her is pure joy.

  27. aquarius64 says:

    Writing about a famous deceased man’s alleged sidepieces is distasteful but what do you expect from the BM. But it also serves as a harbinger for FFQC that this is the price she will have to pay for that level of privilege and prestige and her family can’t do anything about it.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      @aquarius64 – Your comment perfectly sums up why Fergie decided to become a grifter, Diana almost lost her mind and Harry decided to exit stage left with his family for the USA!

  28. Well Wisher says:

    As distasteful as this insidious article is despite the use of euphemisms, it is a warning to the rest of the BRF except for the Cambridges. While they are owned by the fail and Murdoch, the others are being warned that they cannot escape like Harry who was had for at least 20 years.

  29. Linney says:

    Years ago, I always thought it strange Camilla was referred to as Prince Charles’ “confidante.” (Lady Tryon, aka “Kanga” was also referred to as “confidante.”) Why not just say “friend?” A male friend of ours, who is a very upper class Brit, told me “confidante” means — wink, wink — “mistress.” I thought he was referring only to the Camilla-Charles relationship. But more recently, I asked about Prince Phillip, and he again confirmed the true meaning of “confidante.” He even made a joke and said “If anyone calls a female friend of your husband’s a confidante, watch out!” Obviously, I have no actual knowledge of Phillip’s relationship with this woman, but if the families are friends/relations, why not simply refer to her as a close friend who enjoyed carriage driving? The continued use of “confidante” is pretty suspicious, but I think in that world, affairs are sanctioned as long as the people involved are quiet. I suspect the Queen turned a blind eye years ago, and I always thought the resemblance between Lord Porchester and Andrew was strong. Then again, while Harry does look like James Hewitt, he truly resembles Diana’s sister, Sarah. So who knows? Resemblances can be funny things. (And I don’t think James Hewitt is Harry’s father.)

    • BayTampaBay says:

      Harry may resemble James Hewitt but the dates do not add up. Also, IMPO, Harry is the spitting image of Prince Phillip regarding facial features.

  30. Carolind says:

    I saw a photo of Prince Philip at the weekend and resemblance to Harry was strong.

    Think it is almost definite that three relatives of Prince Philip’s through his sisters’ families are to be at the funeral.

  31. Christine says:

    “I’ve seen some young commenters claim that because there was no solid proof that Prince Philip was a serial adulterer, then it never happened.”

    Hey, young commenters, I am going to sound like my Grandpa right now, but I was born in 1974, there were no cell phones, and every single camera had actual film. That you had to develop, and it was EXPENSIVE. Google it, your minds will be blown.

    ETA: My condolences, Penny. Sincerely, I am sorry for your pain.

    Philip was lucky he was born into the LAST generation that would tolerate all of the shenanigans. There is a reason the 60s happened. Then again, nothing all that amazing is happening to any person, on the planet right now, because Covid.

  32. Tony James says:

    When I was in the Royal Navy I was onboard HMS Victory in 1995 when the Duke made an unofficial visit to the ship, I remember talking to his driver alongside and asking him how long it would take to drive back to London and he said he was going to Romsey and staying the night and heading back the day after. I asked him why, he smiled and said the Duke has a special friend there, it was obvious what he meant and I always wondered who he was seeing and now I know.

  33. Carolind says:

    That is interesting! There was a polo match that Diana was watching Charles play in the Saturday before she married. The strain must have got to Diana and she broke down in tears. The woman she was with guided her out. That was Penny Romsey. Her husband came then. They were great friends of Charles. Penny told him not to marry Diana. That they had nothing in common. In the January by which time Diana was pregnant and under strain from everything, Charles took Diana on a holiday to the Caribbean. The Romseys went too.