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Who’s Penny in The Crown?



Penny, who is introduced in the latest season of The Crown, is Penelope Knatchbull, who was a close friend to Prince Philip and is married to Norton Knatchbull.

The fifth season of The Crown has managed to garner millions of views within just a few days since its release on Netflix.

However, as always, viewers are often more captivated by some of the subplots and new characters than with the main storyline of the season.

One of these subplots involves Penelope “Penny” Knatchbull, her family, and her complex relationship with Prince Philip.

How popular has season five of The Crown been?

The most recent fifth season of The Crown was released on 9 November 2022. The Crown has always been one of the most popular series releases on the Netflix platform and the launch of this most recent season did not disappoint.

Season five of The Crown quickly shot to the number one position in countries like the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Italy, Germany, and France.

In fact, over 1.1 million viewers in the United Kingdom watched the episodes from the new season of this show on the day that it launched. Moreover, just over a week later, this season has been streamed for over 107.39 million hours on televisions alone.

Who’s Penny in The Crown?

Besides the main plot of season five of The Crown, which focuses on the troubles in the relationship between Princess Diana and then Prince Charles, the show has also introduced a few sub-plots this season, along with a few new characters.

One of the storylines that continues throughout season five, from the previous seasons, is the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

In this season of The Crown, some of the conflict in their relationship is caused by a new character that was introduced to the series, called Penelope “Penny” Knatchbull.

Penny is introduced in the first episode of the fifth season of the show when she and her husband, Norton Knatchbull, are on holiday with Prince Charles, who was the best man at their wedding, and his family.

Penny is the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, because her husband, Norton, is 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma, but they have also been known as the Romseys and the Brabournes through the years.

The pair got married in 1979 and had three children together over the course of their marriage.

However, later in the second episode of the series, tragedy strikes the family, and this tragedy leads to the relationship between Penny and Prince Philip, which is really what has captured the attention of fans of the show.

Although the rumours that their relationship in former years was not anything more than platonic have never been confirmed, Penny and Prince Philip remained close friends until his death in 2021.

Penny’s immediate family

Penny married Norton Knatchbull on 20 October 1979. After their wedding, the couple moved to Norton’s family home on the Broadlands estate.

Later in their marriage, Penny and Norton had three children, including their eldest son Nicholas, and their daughters, Alexandra and Leonora.

Unfortunately, as portrayed on episode two of the fifth season of The Crown, Leonora sadly passed away in 1991 at just five years old as a result of her kidney cancer. Penny and Alexandra still remain trustees of the Leonora Children’s Cancer Fund to this day.

The relationship between Penny and Prince Philip

Aside from the grief surrounding Leonora’s death and the funeral portrayed on this season of The Crown, many fans have been intrigued by the relationship that arose from this grief between Penny and Prince Philip.

Later, he encouraged her to take up carriage driving as a way to cope with her loss.

In real life, these two formed a close friendship after Leonora’s death, and even though Prince Philip was 32 years Penny’s senior, their companionship spanned decades. In fact, Penny was one of only 30 mourners invited to Prince Philip’s funeral.

This also made her the only non-family member at the event.

How accurate was The Crown’s portrayal of Penny and this relationship?

The Crown has always been known for finding an excellent balance between historical, factual accuracy and fictional dramatisation, which makes the show simultaneously accurate and  entertaining to watch.

However, this season does strongly imply that the relationship between Prince Philip and Penny was more than a platonic connection, even though this has never been confirmed by either party.

There are also some leniencies that were taken with the relationship between Penny and Queen Elizabeth, who do not seem to like each other very much in the show, but who have been pictured together casually on numerous occasions in real life

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