The Crown: Queen’s former aide condemns ‘distasteful’ storyline suggesting monarch had an affair

New episodes hint royal had romantic relationship with her horse racing manager

Ellie Harrison
Sunday 10 November 2019 11:27
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The Crown season 3 trailer

The Queen’s former press secretary has criticised the new series of The Crown for suggesting that the monarch had an affair.

A storyline in season three hints that the Queen may have had a romantic relationship with Lord Porchester, her horse racing manager.

The monarch’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter dismissed this suggestion, saying: “This is very distasteful and totally unfounded.”

He told The Times: “The Queen is the last person in the world to have ever considered looking at another man.

“Not only is this muckraking – this is gossip that’s been washing around for decades. It’s got absolutely no substance.”

In the new series of the Netflix hit, the Queen, played by Olivia Colman, is shown to have a close relationship with the Lord who she affectionately calls “Porchie”.

One episode shows the pair spending a month together visiting stud farms in France and America. Prince Philip, portrayed by Tobias Menzies, is suspicious and interrogates her when she returns to Buckingham Palace.

Rattled by Philip’s grilling, the Queen replies: “If you have something to say, say it now. Otherwise, if you don’t mind, I’m busy.”

Philip starts to walk away but changes his mind and kisses the Queen.

The Queen was close to Lord Porchester until his death in 2001 and there is no evidence of any romantic affair.

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Arbiter expressed concern that viewers will take whatever The Crown’s screenwriter Peter Morgan portrays as “sacrosanct”.

He added: “The Crown is fiction. No one knows any conversation between members of the royal family, but people will tell the story they want to and sensationalise it.”

The show was also recently criticised by royal biographers for another new plot line, about Prince Charles and Camilla, which “could cause a lot of damage”.

The Crown season three will be released on Netflix on 17 November.

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