Lord Porchester: why does The Crown suggest he had an affair with the Queen?

The Queen’s former press secretary has called the longstanding rumour ‘very distasteful and totally unfounded’

Name: Henry George Reginald Molyneux Herbert, 7th Earl of Carnarvon, KCVO, KBE, DL.

Also known as: Porchie.

Age: 77, when he died in 2001.

Occupation: Being an earl. Horse racing manager to the Queen.

Is that like being a football manager? Did he shout at the horses to give 200%? What’s said in the stable stays in the stable. Also, no.

Are you sure? Well, I could see a situation where the Queen’s horses think they are special and become difficult to motivate. But I expect his job was just choosing races and training regimes and stuff. He and the Queen used to talk about it often, by all accounts.

Wait … Isn’t he that chap off The Crown? Yes, he was played by Joseph Kloska in seasons one and two, and in the forthcoming third season, by John Hollingworth.

Ah, is this the season that implies that he and Her Majesty – you know – maybe had a bit of a roll in the hay? There is no evidence to support that rumour.

It’s fun though. I mean, what’s the point of being a monarch in a dynastic marriage if you can’t sometimes get fruity in a stableyard? Being fun and being true are different things, I’m afraid. The palace doesn’t comment on this stuff, but the Queen’s former press secretary, Dickie Arbiter, has told the Sunday Times that the rumour is “very distasteful and totally unfounded”.

Boo! “The Queen is the last person in the world to have ever considered looking at another man,” he continued. “The Crown is a fiction. No one knows any conversation between members of the royal family, but people will tell the story the way they want to and sensationalise it.”

If no one knows what the royal family do in private, how does he know whether the Queen has ever “considered looking at” another man? He just thinks we should have evidence before speculating, I guess.

And I think he should let me enjoy an inaccurate, but glossy, dramatisation of real events. I’m sure you do, but Porchie still has family, remember. His son-in-law took over as the Queen’s racing manager.

Why did the Queen call him Porchie? They were childhood friends, and the name was short for Lord Porchester, the courtesy title by which he was known until he inherited the earldom.

Can I have a courtesy title while I wait to inherit an earldom? You could call me Lord Passnotes. I could. But I won’t.

Do say: “Every loyal British subject should demand proof before believing some enjoyable fantasy.”

Don’t say: “The Queen was anointed by God in a sacred chair, after all.”

The GuardianTramp

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