The upcoming season alludes to the Queen having an affair with her long-time friend horse racing manager, Henry Herbert, aka Lord "Porchie" Porchester.
Upon returning home to Buckingham Palace after a month-long visit to Porchie’s stud farms in France and Kentucky, the Queen (now played by Olivia Colman), gets into an argument with her husband Prince Philip, who suspiciously grills her about the trip. She responds: "If you have something to say, say it now. Otherwise, if you don't mind, I'm busy."
The (actual) Queen's former press secretary, Dickie Arbiter, has spoken out about the fabrication of the Queen’s relationship with Porchester, telling the Sunday Times that the idea is "very distasteful and totally unfounded".
"The Queen is the last person in the world to have ever considered looking at another man,” he said. “Not only is this muckraking – this is gossip that's been washing around for decades. It's got absolutely no substance."
“The Crown is a fiction,” Arbiter added. “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.”
In 2012 during an interview with the Telegraph, Porchester’s son George Herbert discussed his father’s relationship with Queen Elizabeth. “It was a very equal friendship ranging over many interests. They were from the same generation. They had been through the war. They shared a great love of the countryside and wildlife as well as horses. Whether they were walking at Sandringham, Highclere or in Scotland, it was always a great obsession."
While there seems to be no hard evidence that their relationship was anything more than a deep friendship, The Crown’s creator Peter Morgan told The New York Times back in June that he felt he’d "earned" the right to include "a bit of sex, a bit of playfulness".
The third season of The Crown will air on Netflix on November 17.