Countess Mountbatten of Burma is one of the 30 guests that the Queen has invited to Prince Philip’s funeral ceremony that will be held today (April 17) at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Palace sources said the Queen was facing “some very difficult” decisions selecting the 30 guests permitted to attend the ceremony that starts at 3 P.M.
The restriction on the number of guests is part of COVID-19 precautions.
The Queen reportedly took care to ensure that as many members of her extended family and relatives were included in the guest list.
Penelope “Penny” Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, was one of Prince Philip’s closest friends. She will join the Queen and the late Duke’s children and grandchildren at the funeral today.
If you’ve been wondering who she is, here is everything you need to know.
Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, is married to Prince Charles’ cousin
Countess Mountbatten is 67 years old. She was born Penelope Meredith Mary Eastwood in London in 1953 to Marian Hood and Reginald Eastwood. Her father was a wealthy businessman. She was the eldest of two children. Her younger brother was Peter Eastwood.
She graduated from the London School of Economics in 1976.
She married the 3rd Earl Mountbatten, Norton Knatchbull, then Lord Romsey, in 1979.
His father, John Knatchbull, the 2nd Earl Mountbatten and 7th Baron Brabourne, died in 2005.
Norton Knatchcull and Prince Charles are cousins. Charles served as the best man at his wedding to Countess Mountbatten in 1979.
The Mountbattens shared three children: Nicholas, Alexandra and Leonora. Leonora died of liver cancer in 1991 at the age of five.
Prince Philip and Countess Mountbatten were close
Since she married Norton Knatchbull, Penelope has been close to the Royal Family. She often attends the Royal Windsor Horse Show as a guest of the Royal Family.
She and Prince Philip were close friends until he died. Philip started teaching her carriage driving in the 1990s and she has been photographed on multiple occasions at the Royal Windsor Horse Show with Philip.
She remained one of Philip’s closest friends and confidantes after his retirement. She frequently visited Philip’s Wood Farm Cottage at Sandringham.
The Queen’s cousins, nephews, and nieces will also attend
Other members of the Queen and Prince Philip’s extended family expected to attend the funeral ceremony include the children of the Queen’s late sister, Princess Margaret: David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, and Lady Sarah Chatto.
The Queen’s cousins, Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, and Princess Alexandra, the Honourable Lady Ogilvy, are among the guests.
They will join the Queen’s children, Charles, Prince of Wales, Princess Royal Anne, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, and their spouses.
The Queen’s grandchildren who will attend include Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Princesses Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, and their spouses.
Anne’s children, Zara Tindall, and her spouse, Mike also expected to attend as well as Peter Philips.