Who Is Leonora Knatchbull? The Heartbreaking True Story That Inspired 'The Crown' Season 5

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Get to know the royal who was gone far too soon.

The Crown Season 5 introduced many who haven't been real-life royal watchers to lesser-known members of the British royal family and their circle, including the young Leonora Knatchbull. The Netflix hit briefly introduces the young girl in season 5, Episode 1—but her character arc, like her life, was tragically short. Get to know the Mountbatten who was taken from the world too soon.

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Who is Leonora Knatchbull in The Crown?

Leonora Knatchbull is the youngest daughter of Lady Penelope "Penny" Knatchbull and Norton Knatchbull. Her family is close friends with the British royals and is related on the Mountbatten side.

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Did Leonora Knatchbull's mother and Prince Philip have an affair?

Lady Penny Knatchbull and Prince Philip<p>Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images</p>
Lady Penny Knatchbull and Prince Philip

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

The Knatchbulls were close friends with Prince Philip, and Leonora's mother shared an enthusiasm for carriage racing with the Duke of Edinburgh. The Crown season 5 implies that Penny and Prince Philip may have had an affair of some kind—but there's no evidence of that in real life.

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How did Leonora Knatchbull die?

Leonora died from kidney cancer in 1991. She reportedly was diagnosed when she felt unwell while her family was on vacation in Spain with other royals, including then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

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How old was Leonora Knatchbull at the time of her death?

Leonora Knatchbull was only 5 years old at the time of her death. She had undergone cancer treatments including radiation and chemotherapy for more than a year before her passing.

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What was Leonora Knatchbull and Princess Diana's relationship?

Leonora was Princess Diana's goddaughter. The Princess of Wales often visited Leonora in the hospital during her cancer treatment.

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Where is Leonora Knatchbull's grave?

Following a funeral in October 1991, Leonora was buried on her family's estate, Broadlands, in Hampshire, England.

Next, find out how accurate The Crown really is.