Prince Philip's close relationship with Penelope Knatchbull will be featured on The Crown — and it will surely ruffle some feathers.
The two spent lots of time together in the '90s — season 5 will cover this decade — even though they were 32 years apart in age.
“This is a relationship which naturally raised a few eyebrows and sparked quite a few whispers, but Philip and Penny maintained they were just friends," an insider said, per The Sun. “The makers of The Crown believe it is a relationship worthy of exploring and casting a veteran actor like Natascha [McElhone] is a reflection of how high profile the role is. But the highly personal relationship is unlikely to be welcomed as a storyline by Her Majesty or the rest of the Royal Family.”
In the latest season, the late Duke — who died on April 9 at 99 years old — will be played by Jonathan Pryce, while McElhone will play Knatchbull.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Philip's funeral only had 30 guests in attendance, but Knatchbull — who is married to the grandson of Philip's late uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten — made the list.
The two struck up a friendship around 1994, when he began teaching her how to drive a carriage, Tatler reported.
Knatchbull and Queen Elizabeth have also become close over time — especially after mother-of-three's husband had an affair.
"Penelope was often seen in public riding alongside the Duke and saw the Queen regularly in private," the Daily Express reported, adding that "she was a regular guest at the weekend house parties Philip held at Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate," where he lived after he retired.
Season 5 of The Crown will also focus on Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson's split and Princess Anne's divorce.