‘The Crown’ will feature intimate scenes between Prince Philip & Penny Knatchbull

It’s no secret that Prince Philip cheated on his wife and that he had many special friends over the years. One of his most special “friends” was Penny/Penelope Knatchbull, sometimes called Penny Brabourne or Countess Mountbatten. They were special friends for many years, decades really. She was a constant companion for Philip after his retirement to Wood Farm. None of this means that Penelope was *only* close to Philip. She was very close to Queen Elizabeth II too. I believe, especially towards the last years of Philip’s life, the Queen was happy that Philip had a friend, someone discreet and someone who knew all of the rules. After Philip’s passing, Penelope was invited to his funeral and this year’s service of thanksgiving. Penelope was also invited to sit next to the Queen during the Royal Windsor Horse Show this year, that’s how cozy this relationship was.

Well, it’s also not a secret that The Crown is going to feature the Penny storyline to some degree. We knew last year that they had cast Natascha McElhone as Penny. Well, now that we’re a month away from the premiere of Season 5, guess who’s dusting off the controversy for rage-clicks?

Netflix is to show Prince Philip ­pursuing an affair in The Crown — just weeks after the Queen’s funeral. He will be shown in intimate scenes with close pal Penny Knatchbull. The Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter said: “This is cruel rubbish.”

Royal experts said showing intimate scenes with Philip and family pal Penny was cruel so soon after the Queen was laid to rest next to her husband.

Netflix considered stalling the release of the fifth series, but will go ahead on November 9 as planned.

Viewers will see the Duke of Edinburgh, who died 18 months ago, pursuing an affair with high society beauty Penny, now the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, 69. They are seen touching hands as he divulges details of his marriage.

It infuriated experts including the Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter. He said: “Coming just weeks after the nation laid Her Majesty to rest next to Prince Philip, this is very distasteful and, quite frankly, cruel rubbish. The truth is that Penny was a long-time friend of the whole family. Netflix are not interested in people’s feelings.”

Majesty magazine editor Ingrid Seward added: “It’s in exceedingly bad taste. This is fiction. There’s no way in a million years he’d discuss his marriage with anybody. The royals probably won’t watch it for their own sanity.”

[From The Sun]

I mean… I might have agreed that the timing was in bad taste if this particular storyline came out weeks after Philip’s passing and his widow was still alive. But that’s not the case. The two married people in this situation are both entombed and beyond caring. Not for nothing, but wasn’t it also in exceedingly bad taste to cheat on his wife?? I f–king love that Ingrid Seward is mad about the dramatization that Philip would… tell his mistress about his marriage troubles? Seward doesn’t sound mad that Philip had affairs, she’s mad that some of those affairs might have been emotional and that The Crown might dramatize exactly that. Also: Peter Morgan never “considered stalling the release.” That’s royal commentator fiction. Morgan paused the filming for a few days and that was it.

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80 Responses to “‘The Crown’ will feature intimate scenes between Prince Philip & Penny Knatchbull”

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  1. MsIam says:

    Lol, about Netflix considering “stalling” the release. They can’t wait! Supposedly Netflix wants to buy a movie studio so any opportunity to make bank is welcome. More subscribers!

  2. Eurydice says:

    Lol, is the intimate scene that they touched hands?

    • DK says:

      Yeah, that line dashed my hopes that the intimate scene is more “the three of them had a loving, caring polyamorous relationship that lasted for decades and was healthy for them all.”

      I mean…if the Queen was well aware, and quite content to have Penny be what sounds like a live-in mistress, maybe it was a mutually healthy poly relationship. (And even if that’s not reality, it would be so much more fun if Netflix went there…Imagine the RF and RR reactions then…)

  3. Ceej says:

    I’m sure Netflix is despondent at the idea that around 20 (royal) people in Britain might not watch the season. They’ll be crying into their coffee cups relying on getting millions of extra viewers for including this salacious storyline instead of taking the high road with a family who tormented two young women who married in.

  4. Laura D says:

    Hmmmm Ingrid Seward talking about fiction and bad taste. Really? What about the Youtube video when Ingrid and her fellow hacks talked disparagingly about Meghan’s comments in the Oprah interview without having seen it? Pot, Kettle and Black are the words that definitely spring to mind here.

  5. Southern Fried says:

    Good. I couldn’t stand it after Phillip died he was practically canonized. I get being respectful but stop the lies.

    • Another Anne says:

      Yes, and also all the talking heads covering the queen’s funeral who were going on about how she and Phillip had a love story for the ages. Please. He was a cheating dog.

      • Coldbloodedjellydonut says:

        This! I just watched the ep of the Crown where Phillip was apparently hanging out at parties thrown by the osteopath who was procuring hookers for men of power, with Russian spies in the mix. All in the midst of Elizabeth being pregnant and a third crap Prime Minister leaving her in an intenable position (the scene when she tears the PM down for being old, ill, and weak – loved it!!! I hope that really happened!!!).

        Where was Phillip? Partying and cheating. Then he gaslit her into trusting him again. I was seriously enraged rewatching that. Such a piece of sh!t.

        I know the private conversations are dramatized, but everything that happened is based on historical record. Phillip was an error from the start and a weight around her neck in every way. If only she was a man, she could have shut him up and kept him under control, but she was a woman and had to give her husband power. /s

        I honestly told my partner that if I were her I would have offed him. Lots of opportunity for an accident.

    • Yvette says:

      I believe there is a very good reason why Philip’s last will and testament is sealed.

  6. Lauren says:

    I guess I always thought that Penny was actually his daughter not his lover. I wonder which “storyline” would be worst for the Windsors to have out there?

    • MarlenaB says:

      This! They look so much alike and that would explain the Queen’s embrace of her. I have been curious why this doesn’t seem to be explored more.

    • ClaireB says:

      I too wondered if Penny was his daughter, because to me they resemble each other, especially around the jaw and chin. Why is everyone assuming mistress? Maybe there’s more background information that we don’t know.

    • Lena says:

      Seems very unlikely since I don’t think her parents had any royal connections. They were wealthy, but not aristocratic and at least her father wasn’t old wealth but self made. Her royal connections came trough her marriage into the Mountbatten family and she became close to prince Philipp after that.

    • supersoft says:

      Yeah i thought of this rumour too. I always wondered why she would have been so much out in the open if being his lover or confidante?

      • Joanne says:

        Charles and Camilla never made any attempt to hide their relationship. Ann took up with Camilla’s husband. None of them seem to care about hiding anything. Their circle treated all the affairs as normal and accepted.

    • LilacMaven says:

      She wasn’t his daughter.

      Penny’s father founded the Angus Steakhouse. They weren’t courtiers. They weren’t associates of Philip. Her mother was not his mistress. Her mother would never have met Philip prior to Penny marrying Philip’s cousin, Norton Knatchbull, Earl Mountbatten of Burma (Lord Mountbatten’s grandson via his daughter Patricia).

      Penny was born into the Middle Class, not the aristocracy. Her father was ambitious and sent his children to Swiss boarding schools. Penny must be clever (something none of Philip’s actual children were ever accused of), because she graduated from the London School of Economics in 1976.

      Soon after she met Norton, and through him, Philip.

    • ShazBot says:

      I think now that the Queen has passed, they’d rather have it out there if she really were his daughter. It would also be an excellent opportunity to show just how “fake” The Crown is, honestly.
      But we all know palace PR is idiotic

  7. Lucy says:

    I am loving Netflix for aaalllllll of this!

    • Green girl says:

      The timing couldn’t be better for this season. The funeral will still be in recent memory when season five drops but the release won’t be too soon after the mourning period. Like I think it might be tacky if they released this season two days before or after the funeral, but not two months.

      • The Duchess says:

        I agree. The timing is absolutely spot on. Memories from the funeral are still fresh, but the public are ready to consume drama like this once more. I’ll go even one step further and say that not many people actually cared for the Queen’s death. It was just one of those things, no matter how hard the British media tried to make it this big tragic event.

  8. L84Tea says:

    I am loving the fact that the makers of The Crown are going all in on everything. What a glorious fall and winter it’s going to be.

    • dawnchild says:

      Now is the winter of our discontent
      Made glorious summer by this sun of York…

      Except York (Andrew) has already flamed out, revealing the doings of the royal house in his criminal coverup …now the rest of the grotesquerie can commence with their capering fools in the UK tabloid media to light the way…

  9. samipup says:

    I thinking watching *The Royals* and their daily travails, jealousies, misteps and various f*ucked up characters is the best thing in reality TV! Its a riot. Is got everything!

  10. RoyalBlue says:

    Salty island may wish to hide the contents of Philip’s will to preserve the dignity of the Queen, but Netflix doesn’t have to hide the content of his life to do so.

    Surely the Crown is this perfect institution, that upholds the church’s values and can stand up to public scrutiny. Let’s examine Philip’s life and how the Queen turned a blind eye. Let’s examine all of their lives, and we will see they are no better than any of us. Superior bloodline be damned.

  11. FhMom says:

    Wow. I did not see that coming. But, I mean, if TQ was cool with the relationship, why should it bother anyone else?

    • Noxy says:

      I have to agree.

      If their relationship was intimate (emotionally or physically, or both) and the Queen respects Penny enough to invite her to Phillip’s very small, intimate funeral or likes her enough to sit with her to chat at the horse show after he passed clearly she has no issues with whatever the two had going on.

      If nobody in the family was hurt, it’s pretty much a nonevent. For me the real issue is the royalists who are denying that they had any sort of special friendship whatsoever, with even just emotional intimacy. It’s possible to have emotional affairs as much as physical ones.

  12. Noki says:

    Yes people cheat in all circles and backgrounds around the world. However the level of ‘understanding’ these people have is sickening. Its like expected to keep a mistress in those circles,its something to behold. And thats why they keep their circles smal people like Kate and Meg cant undesrtand. Now its clear how Kate was with the turnip toffs and their reaction i bet it was Ma Midds who told her to just suck it up with Wills cheating.

    • A says:

      Kate 100% understood what was expected of her when she married William. The whole thing with the Turnip Toffs happened bc she thought that she had the authority in their little social circle to “ice out” Rose Hanbury, which is why she was smacked down and humiliated so hard that she can’t go back to Norfolk in this, or her next life time.

      As for the “understanding” among the aristocracy, it was never their culture to marry for love. Marriages were for consolidating property, and wealth. Children were a necessity for passing down generational wealth and status. The task of running these massive estates was on both the husband and the wife in a marriage, which makes being a aristocratic wife an actual job in a lot of ways. Even the fun stuff, like hosting balls and parties and stuff is another requirement of the job, where you have to demonstrate your wealth and status to your peers in society.

      When one’s personal life is so intimately tied up with their entire livelihood, where is the room for love or respect, let alone fidelity? The most you can do in those instances is understand the task at hand, adjust your expectations, and behave accordingly. A lot of times, that’s not enough, and many of these people found out, the hard way, that money and privilege really aren’t a substitute for happiness or being well-adjusted.

      Rose Hanbury and her husband are the perfect example of that sort of marriage in action in the modern day. She gets money and a title, her husband gets an heir and a spare, someone to take on the hostessing duties and someone who markets the estate and puts it on the map. The two of them, after having produced three children together, are now free to do what they want.

      Penny Knatchbull is actually another example of that as well. Her husband cheated on her, and ran off to some island with his mistress. The whole reason the Queen admired her is bc, after her husband publicly embarrassed her, Penny just carried on with running the estate without a hitch, on her own, like nothing had happened.

      Her husband eventually came back with his tail between his legs. She banished him to some side cottage on the estate, while Penny lives at the main house by herself. They never divorced, and they will never divorce. The rumour is that Penny will never leave the estate, bc that’s where one of her daughters, who died at the age of 5, of cancer, is buried.

      Penny’s oldest son struggled with a drug addiction for years, to the point where he couldn’t reliably be trusted to run the estate. His sister and her husband had to step in and do that responsibly. His sister was walked down the aisle by Charles, her godfather, rather than her own father, bc Norton Knatchbull had only just crawled back home after being dumped by his mistress.

  13. Becks1 says:

    LOL so many meltdowns from the Salty Isle!!

    Affair or not , he was clearly very close with Penny and the queen was clearly okay with that. Inviting Penny to the funeral service confirms both those points. So not surprised Netflix is including it.

  14. Renae says:

    Weren’t Phillip and Penny related?

    • Lena says:

      No, her husband was. She married into the Mountbatten family with which both prince Phillip and Elizabeth were related to (with Queen Victoria as the common ancestor) and especially prince Phillip and Charles were very close to the Mountbattens, with lord Mountbatten serving as a surrogate father figure to Phillip and surrogate grandfather/father figure to Charles. Penelope married lord mountbattens grandson.

      • Tessa says:

        If Charles had married Amanda Knatchbull the family would be even more dominated by MOuntbatten genes.

  15. Sarita says:

    This casting is top notch, truly. I’m here for it. The dynamic between the three is truly unfathomable.

  16. DaniLou says:

    Penny’s daughter looks so similar to William. And when she married a few years ago Charles walked her down the aisle. This family are bonkers….someone pass the popcorn.

  17. Mads says:

    “Windsor men enjoy women and Kate is the type to let things like that slide” (words to that effect) is the observation Seward made in a piece to camera when W & K got engaged. Seward, and the media, know how they operate and the phrase “close friend” is a well used euphemism for side piece.

    • QuiteContrary says:

      This is so gross.
      I guess I’m just so thoroughly middle-class that I do not understand the royals’ casual attitude toward cheating.
      Defender of the faith, my ass.

  18. Alexa says:

    She’s married to his close relative. That’s why it’s so weird. Countess Mountbatten is married to the Earl of Mountbatten. That’s his uncle’s grandson. They’ve been separated for a long time. If she was his daughter which she is not he would have married his cousin. Which probably would be okay for that family. But no. Look at an old picture of her. She looks nothing like them at all. Lord Louis Mountbatten who was blown up by the IRA. I don’t believe he was ever really seen around him that much despite being relatives in recent times. I wonder if he was at her or Prince Philips funeral. The gathering at DOE’s funeral was small. I don’t remember his being mentioned. Ha ha his daughter. I think they had a “special ” relationship. NO. Not his daughter. She was at Wood Farm all the time.

    • Lena says:

      Yes, she only became part of the royal circle after her marriage and I highly doubt her parents ever had any royal connections.

  19. Eleonor says:

    All this free pr!!!! LOL

  20. Blithe says:

    This family is…interesting. I’ve been intermittently obsessed with the diamond atop pearl earrings that Queen Elizabeth wore a lot — that I think she got from Queen Mary. QEII gave a similar, smaller pair to Meghan. I’ve seen similar earrings on Anne and Kate — and now on Penny. Wha? That would be an interesting gift to give your husband’s mistress, and an interesting thing for Penny to copy — if they were not a gift.

    As others have noted, I think she resembles Philip quite a bit. Now I’m seriously curious about Penny —and her relationships within the BRF.

  21. ThisWitchIsntDead says:

    My question is… are Philip and Penny Knatchbull related? I know the Queen and Prince Philip were distant cousins, but that has always been justified as consolidation of power. Great choice in casting with Natascha. She made the show about Charles Bukowski with David Duchovny. She is gorgeous and a gem.

    • Malificent says:

      Natascha is a really good actress and perfect for this part. I loved her on Designated Survivor — she added depth to what could have been a bland role. When they killed off her character, the show jumped the shark.

    • Jaded says:

      No, they’re not related. As others have mentioned, she married the Earl of Mountbatten, but was from a *commoner* family with no ties to the BRF.

    • MsIam says:

      I always remember her from Ronin. Natascha is such a great actress and has a strong resemblance to young Penny. I can’t wait!

    • Noxy says:

      Only by marriage. They apparently became close because they were both into carriage racing.

  22. Murphy says:

    Meh, go for it. This is one of the least embarrassing skeletons in the closet. Consensually boning an in-law who kept her mouth shut for 40 years. Yawn.

  23. ThandieLand says:

    something that often gets overlooked here, is that not only is this affair in particularan open family secret, that the Queen accepted but that this woman is close in age to the Dukes’ two eldest children. She is actually younger than both! 69 this year! The things that the Queen let slide is *extraordinary*, to use the vocab of hypocritical so-called british broadcasters/reporters.

    • MsIam says:

      Yeah, there is not enough “understanding” in the Pacific Ocean to cover that mess. Yikes!

  24. Malificent says:

    Even though QEII was raised with the aristocratic attitude towards catting around, by all accounts she was crazy about Phillip through much of their early marriage. It was not a purely dynastic marriage on her side, so it had to burn that he had all those sidepieces. I thought the Crown did an excellent job in earlier seasons about bringing up the issue, and her pain, without flat-out saying that he boned everything with a pulse.

    • Ladiabla says:

      Exactly, season 2 was a tough watch because Claire did such a good job at portraying the Queen’s pain over Phillip’s infidelities, and then everything that she found out about Snowden and Margaret….I was hurting for her….it was much better seeing her throw ashtrays at Philip and telling him to shut up!!!!

  25. JaneBee says:

    This family and its various sycophantic defenders, really truly fail to grasp the FO portion of FAFO 😂 In this case, FO = the public literally finding out; despite whatever bullshit ‘gentlemans’ agreement ‘ was in place with the press. And now the press is salty that it held back, but Netflix DGAF. Prince Philip was a public figure and was married to the ‘defender of the faith’ and head of the Church of England’. Reporting on his ‘special friends’ falls into the category of public interest. Although, I do probably feel a bit sorry for Penny now having to bear the brunt of this as last woman standing. But then, she probably got a hefty chunk of change in Philip’s will, that is under seal for the next 99 years, so…

  26. Amy Bee says:

    The press has been hinting of an affair between Philip and Penny for years so I don’t get the outrage. The fact that Penny was the only outsider invited to the Philip’s funeral meant that she was more than just a friend of the family.

  27. BeGoneOrangeCheeto says:

    Maybe this is a cynical comment but I think it’s very hard to stay married for as long as Liz and Philip were without cheating. That doesn’t necessarily mean they didn’t love each other in their own way.

    My granddad and grandma were married over 60 years. She passed 8 months after he did. At his funeral, I found out I had an aunt I never knew. Granddad had cheated on Gran with a family friend. When I saw her, I could totally tell – she looked exactly like him.

    But Gram was so lonely when he died – and she was a smart lady who probably knew he wasn’t 100% faithful.

    • Noxy says:

      I think that’s more true than a lot of people would like to admit.

      They got married in another time. They were also both raised in circles where infidelities were supposed to be tolerated as long as the cheating party was discreet. It was seen, sadly, as normal and somewhat inevitable. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt the person being cheated on (especially if they themselves remain steadfastly loyal), but it’s still a normal thing to happen and you were supposed to just get on with things.

      There’s no doubt that the Queen was madly in love with Phillip during their marriage. At some point in almost all long marriages that wears off. Usually it happens in a healthy way as you age together as a couple, your crazy intense love often mellows out. That doesn’t mean you love your partner less, just in a different way. They were married for far, far longer than most people ever are, and considering the time and class they were born into it would be insane if there wasn’t infidelity throughout all those decades.

  28. TIFFANY says:

    I’m still tripping off the fact that Dominic West is gonna be playing Chuck in Season 5.

    🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. Whew Chile.

  29. Kingston says:

    These fascist-wannabes……..always wanting us to disbelieve the evidence of our own eyes.

  30. Mia says:

    Anyone want to touch on the fact she looks quite alike Diana? And even Sophie who styles herself off Diana?

    • MtlExPat says:

      Off topic but Jemima Khan (goldsmith?) looks so much like Diana- there were rumours they were half sisters via Diana’s father I think

      • Tessa says:

        I doubt the goldsmith story is true. When Diana was born frances Spencer had not had the male heir. Prior to Diana s Birth frances had a son john who died soon after birth. John Spencer needed a son and heir to inherit the earl Spencer title. No way would Frances have cheated while trying for a son with her husband. Also Diana strongly resembles her paternal grandmother Cynthia Spencer

      • Tessa says:

        John Spencer by all accounts did not cheat on frances especially since his concern was getting s legitimate male heir. He did when Charles Spencer was born

  31. candy says:

    I don’t actually buy off on this particular story. I believe the rumors that she’s his daughter, more so as she gets older and looks a lot like him. It explains why she rose through the ranks as a commoner, went on to marry the heir to one of the royal family’s closest ally families, seemingly out of nowhere.

  32. Drusilla says:

    Penny actually was quite beautiful when she was younger in the 70’s. I think her blonde, delicate beauty was much more to Phillip’s preference than Elizabeth very Windsor family looks.

  33. SquiddusMaximis says:

    Points for consistency. The screaming royal squad isn’t angry at the fact that Phillip had a mistress; they’re angry that Netflix is publicizing it. Just like they’re not upset with the racism/harassment thrown at Meghan; they’re upset that she talked about it.

  34. Beech says:

    Didn’t Phil have a decades long affair with Lizzy’s cousin? Among so many other women.

    • Princessk says:

      Yes, he was rumoured to have had a ten year long affair with Princess Alexandra the Queen’s cousin. Alexandra and Penny were the two odd presences at his slimmed down funeral. I think Philip had left instructions for these two long term lovers to be there.
      The Queen really suffered putting up with him, which is why she couldn’t understand why Diana couldn’t cope with Charles and Camilla which was child’s play compared to what Philip put her through.

      • MsIam says:

        I agree with that. Diana said the queen turned a deaf ear when she complained about Charles. I guess the queen was acting like Charles when he told Harry and William “I’ve suffered, so you have to suffer too”.

  35. aquarius64 says:

    I think the royalists are upset this account will tarnish the queen’s image – a woman willing to put up with a side piece

  36. jferber says:

    Aquarius64, But that’s EXACTLY what the queen wanted for Diana and EXACTLY what the queen herself did for Prince Philip. Why is it shameful if that is the “aristocratic” or “royal” way? It’s what Kate has been doing for over 20 years. Obviously the queen thought it was/is the right way, so why be ashamed to let the world know it? Because it doesn’t jibe with “middle class” morals? Well, if the queen thought the “middle class” was wrong, DO show it to the world and let the world know they are wrong and the royals are right. Exactly what are they scared of? My God, Charles is king despite what he did to Diana. These people ARE shameless scoundrels and cowards.

    • bisynaptic says:

      It’s not just middle-class morals—it’s the morals they profess to, in church, on Sundays. Their superior, the monarch, is head of this church. It’s awkward.

  37. Bella says:

    Charles and Philip were mentored by Louis Mountbatten who had a totally open marriage. Edwina Mountbatten and he had a very bohemian marriage considering how pompous he was.