Who Is Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Of Mountbatten & Why Was She Invited To Prince Philip's Funeral?
Prince Philip will be laid to rest at St. George's Chapel on April 17, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, just 30 people will be in attendance. And though most people recognized the list of names announced by Buckingham Palace, there were a few that stuck out, such as Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma.
Knatchbull is a close confidante of Philip's and also a distant relative, as she's married to the grandson of Philip's late uncle, Lord Louis Mountbatten.
According to Tatler, the Duke of Edinburgh and Knatchbull struck up a friendship around 1994, when he began teaching her how to drive a carriage.
The two have been good friends ever since, and Knatchbull also grew close to Philip's wife, Queen Elizabeth II.
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The trio's bond grew even stronger when the mother-of-three's husband, Norton Knatchbull, allegedly had an affair, reported the Daily Express.
The U.K. newspaper shared that "Penelope was often seen in public riding alongside the Duke and saw the Queen regularly in private," 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.
In addition to Knatchbull, all of Philip and Elizabeth's four children — Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Princess Anne — will be at the funeral, as will their spouses.
The Duke's eight grandchildren — Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Prince William, Prince Harry, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn — are also set to attend, with some of their spouses receiving invites.
Other notables include members of the Queen's family as well as some of Philip's German relatives.
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Buckingham Palace revealed it was "difficult" for the matriarch to make the short guest list, since the ceremony is "a family funeral and at its heart it is still a family event."