Lady Romsey

Born: Penelope Meredith Eastwood, only daughter of Reginald Eastwood of Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Born: Penelope Meredith Eastwood, only daughter of Reginald Eastwood of Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Thank you very much, Mr Eastwood. But why's she in the news? The Sun has revealed that Penny (43) was the plummyvoiced, "horsey" woman whose phone conversation with Prince Phillip (74) was recorded.

And who is she? Wife of Lord Romsey, a cousin of Queen Elizabeth's.

Who is he? To you and me, Norton Louis Philip Knatchbull. Norton and Charles were school chums at Gordonstoun. Norton is the grandson of Earl Mountbatten, killed in Mullaghmore by an IRA bomb in 1979. His grandmother, Lady Brabourne, and his younger brother, Nicholas, were killed too.


So Penny has been friendly with royals for over 20 years? She was once romantically linked with the Prince of Wales, who later acted as decoy against press attention during her romance with Norton. They later married in Romsey Abbey, with Charles as best man, only weeks after the Mullaghmore bombing.

As a friend, she spotted that Charles and Diana had little in common. And, according to royal biographer Jonathon Dimbleby, she warned Charles. When Diana married Charles, Penny was the hot tip to be Diana's lady in waiting.

A typical Sloane? Well, not every Sloane is a graduate of the London School of Economics, although she likes horse carriage driving and meets the Duke of Edinburgh for lessons. She's often on the balcony at Buckingham palace, viewing the Trooping of the Colour with the royals.

She set up the Leonora Children's Cancer fund after the death of her five year old daughter Leonara in 1991, and has raised millions for cancer research.

So what was discussed on the phone? The soap opera breakup of Charles and Diana.

Who recorded it? A 47 year old hospital technician currently helping police with inquiries.

Last word: To the Sun, which quotes a "senior royal courtier" as saying: "The duke is like a big cuddly father figure to Penny. And they are in touch with each other, just as you would expect family members to be."