Who is Penny Knatchbull? ‘The Crown’ S5 explores friendship with Prince Philip
The new cast for seasons five and six of The crown is slowly unveiled with Imelda Staunton taking over from Queen Elizabeth II to Olivia Colman in the seasons to come. As well as many cast iron replacements, The crown will welcome new characters, including aristocrat Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma. The Countess is widely known as Prince Philip’s friend and confidante and the new series is expected to detail their close friendship. So what should viewers know about Penelope Knatchbull ahead of season five?
Veteran actress Natascha McElhone (Californicationm, Designated survivor) will play Penelope Knatchbull in The crown, meanwhile, Jonathan Pryce will take on the role of the late Prince Philip, who died earlier this year at the age of 99.
As one of Prince Philip’s closest companions, Countess Mountbatten was among the very few mourners selected to attend Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021, who were subject to strict COVID social distancing restrictions. On the sad occasion, Penelope was described by The Express like being heartbroken for losing her best friend. But how did Penelope and Prince Philip know each other?
Penelope, now 68, is married to Norton Mountbatten, the grandson of Lord Louis Mountbatten, the beloved uncle of Prince Philip who died in an IRA bombing in 1979. In one Another royal executive, her husband is a close friend of Prince Charles, who was the witness at their wedding.
Penelope is the daughter of Marian Elizabeth Hood and butcher-turned-businessman Reginald Wray Frank Eastwood, founder of the Angus Steakhouse chain.
Known as Penny by her friends, Penelope became one of the Duke’s closest confidants when he started teaching him to drive a team in 1994 ”, Metro reports, and the two have often been photographed together at equestrian events.
According to reports, their friendship was cemented after a tragedy in 1991, said People, when Penelope lost her 5-year-old daughter, Leonora, to kidney cancer.
Although Philip is 32 years older than Penelope, she quickly became known in the tabloids as Prince Philip’s “keeper of secrets”. In the biography Prince Philip revealed, she has been described as “a constant confidante, a faithful companion” and, as Caroline Graham wrote in the Mail on Sunday, “Second most important woman in the life of the Duke of Edinburgh”.
By TV Insiders at The sun, “It’s a relationship who naturally raised a few eyebrows and elicited quite a few whispers, but Philip and Penny maintained that they were just friends. Manufacturers of The crown believing that this is a relationship worth exploring and that the casting of a veteran actor like Natascha is a reflection of the notoriety of the role. “
It is not yet known how this friendship will be represented in The crown but it will certainly be a story to watch.