Rubbished: Queen’s affair
A claim on the Netflix royal drama, The Crown, that Queen Elizabeth once had a romantic entanglement with her race horse manager has been rubbished by a former press secretary to the monarch.
Dickie Arbiter, 79, has hit out at the intimation that the Queen may have been involved with Lord Porchester.
It is shocking that such a claim should be made in the first place about the Queen and Prince Philip whose wedding took place on November 20, 1947, at Westminster Abbey in London. They are now 93 and 98 respectively.
The popular Netflix drama, which is now in its third season, is soon to air episodes that show the Queen travelling to stud farms in both America and France with Lord Porchester.
Her time away and her affectionate nickname for her travel companion, “Porchie”, later sparks an on-screen row with her husband when she returns to Buckingham Palace.
The suggestion that there may have been an illicit affair between the pair at any point in their friendship has since been branded as “muckraking” by Arbiter.
“This is very distasteful and totally unfounded,” he told The Sunday Times. “The Crown is fiction. No one knows any conversation between members of the Royal family, but people will tell the story they want to try and sensationalise it.”
Unsubstantiated rumours about the relationship between the Queen, played by Olivia Colman, and Lord Porchester, played by Joseph Kloska, have circulated for a number of years. But the pair remained close up until his death in 2001.
This is just the latest hint of a romantic relationship to play out in The Crown after tensions between the Queen and Prince Philip over the horse race manager first appeared in series one.
Prince Philip, played by Matt Smith in seasons 1 and 2, was trying to find his place within the royal household but inadvertently caused fractures in his relationship with his wife.
In one episode during a heated row, the Queen turned to Philip and said: “I have nothing to hide from you, Porchie is a friend.
And yes, there are those who would have preferred me to marry him, but to everyone’s regret and frustration the only person I have ever loved is you.”
This time irritated by Philip’s attitude, she snaps: “If you have something to say, say it now. Otherwise I am busy.”
Philip at first walks away but the scene ends with him returning to the Queen and kissing her.
The show’s producer Peter Morgan has previously admitted to using artistic licence with the storylines but Buckingham Palace has so far refused to be drawn into debates.
The new series of The Crown starts on Sunday and will cover the time period from Harold Wilson’s 1964 election as Prime Minister to the Queen’s 1977 silver jubilee.
Morgan told The New York Times recently that the seriousness of his approach had “earned” him the right to include “a bit of sex, a bit of playfulness”.
The royal family has steadfastly refused to collaborate with Netflix.