The new season of The Crown will span the '60s and '70s, kicking off at Harold Wilson's election in 1964 and ending with the Queen's silver jubilee in 1977. It will also introduce new actors into the leading roles of Prince Philip (Tobias Menzies), Princess Margaret (Helena Bonham-Carter) and Prince Charles (Josh O'Connor).
But there's one storyline, involving Queen Elizabeth, that is already causing ripples. The latest season of the Netflix show details the Queen's relationship with her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. The monarch's close relationship with her horse racing manager, Lord Porchester, is also under the spotlight—with one episode, in particular, suggesting that perhaps their bond was stronger than just friendship.
In episode five, titled "Coup," viewers will see Queen Elizabeth visit international horse breeders with Lord Porchester—or Porchey, as he was more affectionately known—in France and Kentucky.
When she returns to Buckingham Palace, Prince Philip appears to be somewhat suspicious over the month-long trip, leading the character of the Queen to say: "If you have something to say, say it now. Otherwise, if you don't mind, I'm busy."
According to The Times, those close to the Queen aren't too pleased with the insinuation of Her Majesty enjoying "more than friendship" with Porchey. The monarch's former press secretary, Dickie Arbiter is reported to have said: "The Queen is the last person in the world to have ever considered looking at another man. Not only is this muckraking—this is gossip that's been washing around for decades. It's got absolutely no substance."
The former palace employee emphasized his beliefs that "The Crown is fiction," adding that he worried viewers might assume the scenes are "sacrosanct."
"No one knows any conversation between members of the royal family, but people will tell the story they want to and sensationalize it," Arbiter insisted.
Peter Morgan, who created The Crown, has previously told the New York Times that while there were sometimes "unavoidable accuracy blips" in a bid to ensure the narrative of the show made sense, he was "absolutely fastidious about there being an underlying truth." Buckingham Palace has never commented on which storylines hold truth, and which are more on the fictitious side.
Queen Elizabeth remained close with childhood friend Lord Porchester until he died in 2001. There has never been any firm evidence aside from speculation that would suggest the pair were anything more than friends, and Porchey was married to Jean Margaret Wallop, with whom he had three children.
The Crown Season 3 will be released in full on November 17 on Netflix.
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This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.