Who is Penny Brabourne? Inside Prince Philip’s incredible friendship with carriage-driving companion as she’s confirmed as guest at funeral

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Prince Philip’s closest friend Lady Brabourne has been confirmed as one of the 30 guests attending his funeral at St George’s Chapel in Windsor on Saturday 17 April.

Penelope Romsey, 67, is said to have been one of Prince Philip’s “closest confidantes”, despite being 32 years apart in age.

The pair enjoyed a friendship which lasted decades, with the Duke of Edinburgh teaching Penny carriage driving back in 1994.

But who is Penny Brabourne and what do we know about her friendship with Prince Philip?

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Who is Penny Brabourne?

Born Penelope Meredith Mary Eastwood in London, The Lady Brabourne is only daughter of Marian Hood and Reginald Eastwood, a wealthy businessman whose successes included financing the Angus Steakhouse restaurants.

Penny is the wife of Norton Knatchbull, 3rd Earl Mountbatten of Burma. His cousin, Prince Charles, served as the best man at their wedding.

Penny and her husband have three children together; Nicholas Louis Charles Norton Knatchbull, Lady Alexandra Victoria Edwina Diana Hooper and The Honourable Leonora Louise Marie Elizabeth Knatchbull.

They also have two grandchildren.

How did Penny know Prince Philip?

Penny and Prince Philip met at a polo match when she was 20 and in a relationship with Lord Romsey, Earl Mountbatten's grandson Norton Knatchbull.

Penny became Philip’s carriage driving partner and she became a regular visitor at Wood Farm, a cottage on Sandringham Estate where Prince Philip spent a lot of time since retiring in 2017.

According to reports, Philip nicknamed Penny “and also” as an “ affectionate signifier of the fact that he would insist on her attendance at any function”.

“Penny and the Duke of Edinburgh shared decades of affection,” a source told Grazia.

Penny has been invited to be one of the 30 guests at Philip’s funeral, alongside the likes of his grandchildren.

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“Her presence at the funeral among only thirty attendees is exactly what the late Duke would have wanted, and the entire family will be pleased to have her among them on the sombre occasion,” the insider continued.

“Naturally, the situation will mean that they must all keep their distance from each other, but coming together in grief will be hugely beneficial and of great comfort to all.”

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