The Truth About Queen Elizabeth And Lord Porchester's Relationship

Throughout the popular Netflix series "The Crown," the marriage between Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is portrayed as relatively loving and strong, despite the pressures of life in the royal family and the public spotlight. Strain on the relationship does start to show in Season 3, however, when Elizabeth's childhood friend, Lord "Porchey" Porchester shows up. "The Crown" implies that lingering feelings existed between Elizabeth and Porchey — who became her racing manager in 1970, per Radio Times — and that Philip was jealous of the bond. But was their teased romance historically accurate, or just a creative embellishment by the showrunners?

Like many things in "The Crown," this characterization of Queen Elizabeth's real relationship with Lord Porchester is certainly fictionalized. As it is portrayed in the series, though, there are some historically accurate events presented, and the bond was indeed real between the queen and Lord Porchester. 

They shared a love of horse racing

Elizabeth Windsor and Lord Porchester were in fact childhood friends, per Elle. The two also shared a lifelong love of equestrian culture, horses, and horse racing, frequently traveling together on business related to horses, breeding, and stables, just as it is presented in "The Crown." He also was really her racing manager. Without a doubt, there was immense affection between Elizabeth and Porchey (pictured above with Prince Philip.) He was, after all, allowed to call her directly on the queen's private phone line, which is a rare honor.

Beyond that, however, it's not known whether or not Prince Philip was ever jealous of their friendship, as "The Crown" suggests, or whether the enduring bond between Porchester and Elizabeth maintained a simmering romance or if it was strictly platonic. The couple did travel together frequently in the late '60s and early '70s, as the show presents, but unlike on "The Crown," Porchey's wife even came along on a few of those trips. According to Elle, royal scholars agree that Elizabeth and Lord Porchester were likely nothing more than close friends from the same generation, with an enduring passion for horses. Porchester died from a heart attack in 2001 at the age of 77, according to The Guardian.