Countess Mountbatten: Who is Penny Knatchbull and how is she related to Prince Philip?

Prince Philip funeral: Royal historian discusses 'obvious miss'

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The guest list for the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh has been finalised, with key members of the Royal Family attending – as well as some more obscure names making the small list. Due to current coronavirus restrictions, the ceremony has been significantly downsized, with only 30 guests allowed to attend.

Only close relatives will be attending with Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving up his place so an extra family member can attend.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “At its heart, it is still a family event.

“We are following the Covid guidelines.

“There was a limit on who could be invited as a guest and Her Majesty wanted to ensure that all branches of the Duke’s family were there, and had to make some very difficult decisions about who would be there.

“For those that unfortunately can’t be there, I’m sure they will be making their own private arrangements about how they commemorate the Duke, and indeed celebrate the Duke.”

Meghan Markle will not be attending as she has been advised not to fly by doctors due to her pregnancy.

While key members of the family, such as the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex, will be in attendance, the guest list contains some more obscure names in the family that are less well known.

The 99-year -old consort to the Queen died at Windsor Castle on the morning of Friday, April 9.

The cause of death has not been revealed to the public but the Duke recently had a long stay in hospital, where he underwent a heart procedure.

The funeral will take place this Saturday on April 17 at Windsor, and will be televised.

Who is Countess Mountbatten?

Penelope “Penny” Knatchbull, previously known as Lady Romsey and later Lady Brabourne, is on the invite list for this weekend’s service.

She is the wife of Earl Mountbatten, Norton Knatchbull – the grandson of Philip’s uncle, the 1st Earl Mountbatten, who was killed by the IRA in 1979, so is not a blood relative of the prince.

However, Countess Mountbatten of Burma was a close friend of the late Duke, as well as his carriage driving partner.

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The Countess regularly visited the duke during his retirement, of which he spent most at Wood Farm on the Sandringham Estate.

Countess Mountbatten – who was 32 years younger than her friend the Duke – is understood to have formed a close friendship with the Queen and Philip after her daughter Leonora died aged five from cancer in 1991.

Her friendship with the royal couple was apparently so strong that palace staff were said to have nicknamed her “and also”, because she was automatically added to guest lists.

Which royals are going to the funeral?

Guests include the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Princess Royal and husband Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, the Duke of York, the Earl and Countess of Wessex, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the Duke of Sussex, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and their spouses, Peter Phillips and Zara and Mike Tindall.

His children will walk behind the coffin in the procession, followed by Prince William and Prince Harry.

Meghan Markle will not be attending as she has been advised not to fly by doctors due to her pregnancy.

Of the lesser well known royals attending: Countess Mountbatten of Burma; Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden; Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse; and Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg will all be in attendance on Saturday.

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