The Crown Season 5 digs into the scandals that dogged the royal household all through the ’90s. The tabloids catch Sarah Ferguson getting her toes sucked by a random banker, Prince Charles’s (Dominic West) extraordinarily non-public calls with mistress Camilla Parker-Bowles (Olivia Williams) are leaked to the press, and even Prince Philip (Jonathan Pryce) will get a brand new particular pal. The Crown Season 5 explains how Prince Philip bonded with royal pal Penelope Knatchbull, Girl Romsey (Natascha McElhone) over carriage driving after the demise of Knatchbull’s daughter, Leonora. However how shut do Prince Philip and Penny Knatchbull get on Season 5 of Netflix’s The Crown?
For over twenty years, royal watchers famous that Prince Philip was exceptionally near the attractive Penny Knatchbull. So shut that Knatchbull was one in every of solely 30 mourners who attended Prince Philip’s funeral companies in April 2021. Philip and Penelope have been so shut that the Palace workers nicknamed her “and in addition” as a result of she was all the time on each visitor record. After all which means many royal gossip columnists have questioned — and even assumed — Knatchbull was Philip’s mistress. However was she? Can’t an aged married royal and exquisite lady who’s all the time with him simply be associates?
This is without doubt one of the questions that The Crown Season 5 makes an attempt to reply. There are two principal episodes that monitor Prince Philip’s blossoming friendship with Penny Knatchbull. Though Knatchbull and her household are launched in The Crown Season 5 Episode 1 as companions on Prince Charles (Dominic West) and Princess Diana’s (Elizabeth Debicki) awkward second honeymoon, we don’t get to know Penny till Episode 2. Prince Philip intends to pay his godson, Norton Knatchbull, his respects after the demise of his little lady Leonora. As an alternative, Philip finds Norton’s spouse Penny at their historic dwelling of Broadlands.
Prince Philip takes it upon himself to introduce the grieving mom to the diverting sport of carriage driving. Nonetheless it’s not till The Crown Season 5 Episode 6, that Penny’s relationship with Philip turns into one thing of a headache for Elizabeth II (Imelda Staunton).
So does The Crown Season 5 say that Prince Philip was having an affair with Penny Knatchbull? Or have been they only associates? And who was Leonora Knatchbull? The reply is a wee bit sophisticated… Spoilers for The Crown Season 5 forward.
Who’s Leonora Knatchbull in The Crown?
We’re briefly launched to Leonora Knatchbull in The Crown Season 5 Episode 1. Princess Diana complains to a courtier that Prince Charles has invited his cousin Norton Knatchbull, his spouse Penny, and their three kids to accompany them, Prince William, and Prince Harry on a “second honeymoon” crusing round Italy. The courtier means that perhaps he did it to be good to the Knatchbulls after all the pieces they’ve been by means of with their youngest baby, Leonora.
The Hon. Leonora Louise Marie Elizabeth Knatchbull was born in 1986 and died of liver most cancers in 1991 on the age of six. In The Crown Season 5 Episode 1, her godmother, Princess Diana, explains that her most cancers is at the moment in remission. Norton Knatchbull guiltily tells Charles that he likes Leonora’s post-chemo curly hair greater than the way it seemed earlier than.
In Episode 2, we study that Leonora’s most cancers returned and that she died. Simply as in The Crown, Leonora was buried at her household’s property, Broadlands. And similar to in The Crown, Prince Philip stepped in as a shoulder for her mom to lean on…
Does Prince Philip Have an Affair with Penelope Knatchbull in The Crown Season 5?
Effectively, properly, properly… it appears that evidently The Crown goes as far as to disclaim the rumors that Prince Philip and Penelope Knatchbull have been lovers that the present type of confirms it? Let me clarify.
When Philip and Penelope first begin palling round, there’s a candy tenderness at play. Prince Philip feels for this lady who has misplaced her daughter Leonora to most cancers. (Keep in mind Prince Philip himself has a tragic previous, shedding his beloved sisters in a aircraft crash.) He’s just lately found carriage driving as a past-time and thinks it would distract Knatchbull. That’s principally the lengthy and in need of it in The Crown Season 5 Episode 2.
The Crown Season 5 Episode 6 “Ipatiev Home” is the place the connection turns into extra sophisticated. It’s apparent that the 2 are actually besties and so they journey with a “gang” of carriage-driving lovers around the globe. Prince Philip and Penelope Knatchbull additionally share a variety of passionate discussions about DNA, Russian historical past, and numerous theories on worldly stuff. We’re repeatedly instructed that Penny is curious in a approach that Queen Elizabeth II just isn’t.
Right here’s the place it will get awkward. Though Philip is adamant that Penelope is simply there for psychological and emotional companionship, not bodily stuff, Queen Elizabeth II is apoplectic that her husband has a pal who’s a woman. It doesn’t assist that Philip factors out that the 2 have grow to be so shut that he’d like Lilibet to pal round with Penny so the press doesn’t assume there’s an affair at play. Elizabeth’s jealousy over Penelope is attributed to the truth that she feels that as Philip’s “soulmate,” she needs to be all of the companionship he wants. Elizabeth dramatically imply women Penny in non-public earlier than acknowledging her in public. (The truth is, Penelope was typically seen within the Queen’s firm and it’s thought by affair-believers, this was meant to quiet rumors.)
The factor is The Crown goes so out of its strategy to say nothing bodily occurred, you may’t assist however marvel if one thing did. The present doth protest an excessive amount of! It’s the narrative model of the Streisand impact, the place by attempting to inform individuals to look away, showrunner Peter Morgan is inviting our curiosity about Prince Philip and Penny Knatchbull’s relationship. If they’re simply associates, why write an episode the place Elizabeth II loses her cool a lot?
I’d truthfully prefer to assume that Prince Philip was able to having a platonic friendship with a lady. That may be cool! And add dimensions to his character. By making such an enormous deal about their relationship, although, The Crown is definitely stoking the flames of gossip. So who is aware of! Solely God, Prince Philip, and Penny Knatchbull. (And perhaps a few of these horses they carriage-drove. The horses would possibly know one thing.)