Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth faces a complex decision of invitees to Prince Philip's funeral in adherence with the Covid-19 guidelines, as not more than 30 people are allowed to partake in the Duke's last rites.
The stripping down of attendees makes only close family members be a part of the funeral and Prince Philip's closest friend Penelope 'Penny' Knatchbull is one among the 30 attendees with an invite to witness the Duke being laid to rest.
Who is Penny Knatchbull?
Penelope Meredith Mary Knatchbull is a close friend of Prince Philip since 1994 and the two bonded over the equestrian sport of carriage driving, which is a traditional royal pass time that the Duke was fond of.
Penny received several titles from the Royal family and is called the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, which she received in 2017. She has gone through many titles in the past including being Lady Romsey up until 2005 and between 2005 and 2017, she was known as The Lady Brabourne.
Born on April 16, 1953, Penny is the only daughter of Marian Hood and Reginald Eastwood and she did most of her schooling in Switzerland and graduated from the London School of Economics in 1976.
She tied the knot to the love of her life Norton Knatchbull on October 20, 1979 and his family is closely related to the Royal family. Norton's grandfather was Louis Mountbatten, Prince Philip's uncle, and a cousin to Prince Charles.
Penny and Norton got married in gloomy circumstances, as Norton's grandfather was killed in an IRA bomb just a few months before the wedding and his presence was deeply missed.
The couple are blessed with three children being Nicholas Louis Charles Norton Knatchbull, Lady Alexandra Victoria Edwina Diana Hooper and Leonora Louise Marie Elizabeth Knatchbull. However, Leonora lost her life at the age of five after a battle with kidney cancer.
Penny Knatchbull and Prince Philip Share A Beautiful Friendship
Penny was one among the most loved personality in the Royal family and the Queen treated her with respect all throughout the years. She became close to Philip after the death of her daughter Lenora in 1991 and their friendship flourished and the two connected well as they shared similar love for the outdoors.
In 1994, Prince Philip offered to teach her carriage driving and since then, the two have competed in many carriage shows across Britain. Penny became a regular fixture at all royal events and was the favourite of both the Queen and Philip. Also, it is reported that Penny was one among the first people to suggest that Charles was not suited for Diana before their wedding.
Also, Penny and Philip were so close to each other, that a few people thought the Duke is cheating on the Queen with Penny. However, none of these accusations were proved and remained just rumours throughout the years.
Having been so close to Prince Philip, it is no surprise that Penny made it to the list of 30 invitees by the Queen. She is one of the few outsiders to be nearly considered as family at the Buckingham Palace.