Did Prince Philip and Penny Knatchbull have an affair like it’s suggested in The Crown?
Critics have called the storyline ‘cruel’
Season five of The Crown has introduced a number of new characters, all of who were important people linked to The Royal Family. Penelope Knatchbull was introduced in the first episode of The Crown season five, along with her daughter Leonora, who fans soon see have died in the second episode. Following her daughter’s death, Penny is comforted by Prince Philip and they are seen to have a very close friendship.
However, critics have called out season five of The Crown for suggesting Penelope Knatchbull and Prince Philip have an affair after he tells her his marriage is having “problems”. So, did Prince Philip and Penny Knatchbull actually have an affair? Here is everything we know:
Penelope was a close friend of Prince Philip, but there is no evidence the two had an affair
Despite alluding to it in The Crown, there is no evidence of Prince Philip and Penny Knatchbull having an affair. They were in fact very close friends, with Penny being one of the only 30 guests allowed at Prince Philip’s funeral in 2021. Over the years, Philip and Penny were often photographed together but there has never been any evidence of their relationship being any more than platonic.
Dickie Arbiter said the storyline in The Crown is ‘cruel rubbish’
Dickie Arbiter, who was the Queen’s spokesperson from 1988 to 2000, 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,” the former spokesperson added. The magazine editor of Majesty, Ingrid Seward, said the storyline perpetuated between Penny and Philip was “in exceedingly bad taste”.
A royal biographer claimed Philip had ‘full-blown affairs’
Sarah Bradford, who wrote Elizabeth II: Her Life in Our Time, claim The Duke had affairs. She wrote: “The Duke of Edinburgh has had affairs… full blown affairs and more than one. He has affairs and the Queen accepts it. I think she thinks that’s how men are.”
Close sources to the Royals say Philip never acted on his feelings for women
Those close to The Royal Family have always maintained that although Prince Philip admired women, he didn’t act on his feelings. Dickie Arbiter said: “He always liked window shopping, but he doesn’t buy.”
The Crown season five is available on Netflix now. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook.