The latest season of the Netflix royal drama The Crown has a number of new characters.

Advertisement

One of the major additions is Penelope "Penny" Knatchbull, Lady Romsey (Natascha McElhone) who becomes a close friend to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (Jonathan Pryce) following tragic circumstances in her personal life.

The daughter-in-law to Philip's cousin, Penny must face the loss of her youngest daughter Leonora, and Philip helps her to channel her grief into new outlets – one of which is quite inspiring.

However, who plays Leonora Knatchbull in The Crown and what happened to her in real life?

Who was Leonora Knatchbull?

Leonora Knatchbull was the third and youngest child of Norton Knatchbull, Lord Romsey, and Penelope Knatchbull, Lady Romsey.

Norton is the son of Patricia Edwina Victoria Knatchbull, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma and John Knatchbull, Baron Brabourne. Through his mother, Norton is the grandson of the late Louis Mountbatten, Earl Mountbatten of Burma and is therefore the cousin of the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Upon his mother's death in 2017, Norton became Earl Mountbatten of Burma and Penelope became Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

Leonora Louise Marie Elizabeth Knatchbull was born on 25th June 1986 and played with a number of aristocratic and royal children, moving in similar circles to the royal family.

The royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London for the Trooping the Colour ceremony, June 1991. Among them are Prince Andrew, the Duchess of York, Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997), Princess Beatrice, Leonora Knatchbull (daughter of Lord Romsey) and Prince Harry.
The royal family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London for the Trooping the Colour ceremony, June 1991. Among them are Prince Andrew, the Duchess of York, Diana, Princess of Wales (1961 - 1997), Princess Beatrice, Leonora Knatchbull (daughter of Lord Romsey) and Prince Harry. Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

She was pictured on Buckingham Palace's balcony during the Trooping the Colour in 1991, standing in front of Diana, Princess of Wales in red.

Sadly, the much-loved Leonora had a tragically short life and became ill with kidney cancer, dying at the age of five at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London on 22nd October 1991.

Leonora was buried at her family's estate of Broadlands near the town of Romsey.

In 1994, Norton and Penelope Knatchbull set up Leonora Children's Cancer Fund in memory of Leonora.

The Duke of Edinburgh attended a reception to promote the charity in 1994.

Who plays Leonora Knatchbull in The Crown?

Leonora Knatchbull is portrayed in The Crown season 5 episode 1 by child actress Clara Graham.

The second episode of the season, titled The System, portrays the funeral of Leonora Knatchbull and the grief felt by Lady Romsey over her daughter.

Meanwhile, Natascha McElhone plays Leonora's mother Penelope "Penny" Knatchbull, Lady Romsey, throughout The Crown season 5.

The Crown seasons 1 to 5 are available now on Netflix.

Sign up for Netflix from £6.99 a month. Netflix is also available on Sky Glass and Virgin Media Stream.

Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.

Advertisement

The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. or more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times View From My Sofa podcast.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement