‘The Crown’s portrayal of Countess Mountbatten slammed: report
A source close to the royal family is slamming Countess Mountbatten’s supposed portrayal in “The Crown” as “deliberately cruel” and “unnecessarily unsympathetic.”
The source called the series — which is based on true stories of the royals but also adds in some fictional plots — “republican fiction.”
The upcoming season of the Netflix show reportedly suggests that Prince Philip was “pursuing an affair” with Penelope “Penny” Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma. It’s believed that they filmed “intimate scenes” between the two characters.
The show apparently uses the 1991 death of the countess’ daughter, Lenora, from kidney cancer at 5 years old as a way to start the relationship between her and the prince.
“This is indeed an ill-judged, unnecessarily unsympathetic and unfortunate decision,” the source told the Telegraph. “I imagine it is however carefully considered and very deliberate in that it has done what was probably intended in garnering media attention and therefore publicity for this continued work of republican fiction.”
It’s reported that scenes of the prince (Jonathan Pryce) comforting the countess (Natascha McElhone) are juxtaposed with scenes of him and the queen sleeping in separate bedrooms.
“It is one thing for a script to be drivel, another to be so deliberately cruel. I think maybe they have shot themselves in the foot rather with this but for the majority, it will simply pass them by,” the source added, saying the fictional portrayal is “inordinately insensitive.”
“As ever, those with any intelligence and true knowledge of the individuals, will see it as fanciful imaginings,” they continued, admitting they had not seen the Netflix series.
In “The Crown,” the countess and the duke become close over a “shared love of carriage driving,” and he confesses to her that he and the queen have “grown in separate directions.” At the time portrayed in the show, Lady Mountbatten was 36 and Prince Philip was 48.
According to the Telegraph, another episode of the series shows the duke saying he is seeking “companionship” and he gets it from the carriage-driving “gang,” which the queen points out that Lady Mountbatten is part of.
“It’s friendship, Lilibet. It’s not that sort of companionship. That would just make me even more lonely,” he replies.
“Should people happen to see the Duke of Edinburgh out and about with a beautiful younger companion it would be an irritation if they felt at liberty to jump to any wrong conclusions. So why don’t you come in the car with me to church this Christmas at Sandringham? Nip all that in the bud,” the queen says in the show.
Fans of Countess Mountbatten are apparently upset with both the fictional portrayal, as well as the toward the decision to have McElhone portray her.
McElhone’s stepfather is Roy Greenslade, former editor of the Daily Mirror, Guardian columnist and professor of journalism. Last year, Greenslade admitted he was an Irish Republican Army (IRA) sympathizer. In August 1979, the IRA detonated a bomb that killed Lady Mountbatten’s husband’s grandfather, Lord Louis Mountbatten, as well as her husband’s younger brother Nicholas Knatchball.
Countess Mountbatten, now 69, was the only non-royal to attend Prince Philip’s funeral.
Season 5 of “The Crown” is set to hit Netflix on Nov. 9, just over two months after the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.