Sunday Nov 10, 2019
Queen Elizabeth II's former press secretary is not amused.
Dickie Arbiter told The Sunday Times that the new series of The Crown history drama on Netflix was inappropriately hinting at an early romance between the monarch and her horse racing manager.
"This is distasteful and totally unfounded," Arbiter fumed.
"The queen is the last person in the world to have considered looking at another man."
The 93-year-old queen fell in love and married Prince Philip in 1947. She was only 21 at the time and still five years away from ascending to the throne.
She is played in the Netflix series by Britain's 2019 Oscar-winning actress Olivia Colman. The disputed episode is due to be released next Sunday.
The Sunday Times said it shows the queen spending a month visiting stud farms in the United States and Australia with Lord Porchester — a horse racing manager she calls "Porchie".
Prince Philip becomes suspicious and the two exchange words.
"If you have something to say, say it now," the queen tells her prince in the episode.
"Otherwise, if you don't mind, I'm busy."
Prince Philip apparently decides to leave things at that and say no more.
The Sunday Times wrote that the queen "remained close to Porchie until his death in 2001".
But it also stressed that there is no evidence to imply they were more than friends.
"The Crown is fiction," her former press secretary pointed out.
"No one knows any conversation between members of the royal family, but people will tell the story they want to and sensationalise it."
Buckingham Palace did not comment.