The Truth About Queen Elizabeth's Close Relationship with Racing Manager 'Porchie' Porchester
The Crown has shed new light on one of Queen Elizabeth’s most enduring and close relationships
They would talk three times a week on the phone, and as the hit Netflix series shows, he had a direct line to the monarch. But despite the harsh glares from a seemingly jealous Prince Philip (Matt Smith) on the show, in real life theirs was strictly a platonic close friendship, experts say.
Porchie “was a sensitive, quiet man who shared her passion for horses,” Robert Lacey, a royal historian and consultant to the series, tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “He was on the same wavelength.”
Horses are a central part of Elizabeth’s life, her most passionate hobby and one that she and Porchie could share, as both had an in-depth knowledge of bloodstock and racing.
For more on the real stories behind The Crown, pick up a copy of the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
“I would not go beyond characterizing them as old friends who had a very deep bond in this mutual love of horses, and horse breeding and horse racing,” says fellow royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith, author of Elizabeth: The Queen. “They were extremely fond of each other, but I have no reason to think that it went any further.”
The Queen rarely shows emotion in public. Adds Bedell Smith, whose latest book, Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, is out in April: “He died on 9/11, and at the memorial service at St. Paul’s, Elizabeth was probably weeping for Porchie as much as the losses sustained on 9/11.”