Royal expert reveals Prince Philip's 'very close female friends'

The Duke of Edinburgh had ‘very close female friendships’, says royal expert, with Countess Mountbatten – who attended Prince Philip’s funeral – the ‘longest and most meaningful’ of them

  • Prince Philip, who died aged 99 in April, had close female friends says expert
  • His most meaningful friendship was likely with Countess Mountbatten
  • But the Queen respected the relationship – and even invited her to his funeral 

Prince Philip had a number of ‘very close female friends’, according to leading royal expert Robert Jobson, author of upcoming book Prince Philip’s Century: The Extraordinary Life of the Duke of Edinburgh.   

Prince Philip, who died on April 9 this year aged 99, had various close friendships with women throughout his life, according to Jobson.

One woman – who Jobson declined to name – told him her relationship with the late Duke of Edinburgh was so close that ‘people will think we went to bed together’ – though she clarified that they never did.

He added that of his female friendships, the ‘longest and most meaningful’ Prince Philip had was with Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

Jobson made the comments while speaking on a recent episode of The Royal Beat on True Royalty TV.  

Discussing some of the conversations he’d had with the women associated with the late Duke of Edinburgh while writing the book, Jobson said: ‘Some of the quotes [are] from very close female friends that he had.

‘One of them said, “People will think we went to bed together. But you know, we never did, but I had a real close physical chemical connection with him”‘.

‘It was a very bizarre quote, you know.’

According to the author, the Duke of Edinburgh’s most enduring female friendship was likely with Countess Mountbatten of Burma.

Jobson said: ‘He had several lady friends. But probably the longest and most meaningful was with Countess Mountbatten.

‘The Queen accepted the friendship between the Duke and Penny, and…it just shows you how mature the Queen was that she invited her to the funeral. 

‘There were very small numbers and there she was. I think that shows a degree of respect.’  

Prince Philip, pictured here in 1953 wearing the uniform of Marshall of the Royal Air Force, reportedly shared close friendships with a number of women throughout his life

Penelope Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten of Burma, shared an enduring friendship with the Duke of Edinburgh, according to a royal expert. She was one of the few guests at his funeral

Royal commentator Robert Jobson, author of an upcoming book about Prince Philip , described the Queen as ‘mature’ for inviting Countess Mountbatten to the funeral

Countess Mountbatten was one of just 30 mourners at his funeral on the April 17,  as Covid restrictions meant the original guest list of 800 had to be slashed.   

The Countess is also said to be a close friend of the Queen, 95. Informally known as ‘Penny’, she was introduced to the monarch and her husband in 1975. 

While people speculated on his female friendships throughout his life, there is no evidence Prince Philip was unfaithful to the Queen, and in fact, the rumours seemed to annoy him. 

Speaking to a journalist in 1992, he said: ‘Have you ever stopped to think that, for the last 40 years, I have never moved anywhere without a policeman accompanying me? 

‘So how the hell could I get away with anything like that?’  

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