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The Crown’s Supporting Characters Have Real-Life Stories That Are Far From Forgettable

The Crown has told many stories about the royals — Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, the man who’s now King Charles III — but at the same time it’s introduced the world to some lesser-known but highly significant people in royal history, everyone from politicians to long-yearned-for loves. Let’s take a look at them and their real-life stories.

1. Leonora Knatchbull

Played by: Clara Graham

The episode “Queen Victoria Syndrome” introduces us to one of Princess Diana’s 17 godchildren. The little girl in question is Leonora Knatchbull, played by child actor Clara Graham. And unfortunately, her story is a tragic one. She was the daughter of Penelope and Norton Knatchbull, friends of the royal family, but — as The Crown doesn’t shy away from showing us — she died at the age of just five.

Tragic death

Leonora passed away from kidney cancer on October 21, 1991, naturally leaving her parents devastated. But she made a big impact during her five years of life, and not just on members of the royal family. A charity fund was created in her name, one that sets out to help sick children all around the world, and it still exists today.

2. Hasnat Khan

Played by: Humayun Saeed

Heart surgeon Hasnat Khan was, some say, the man Diana would have ended up with if fate had been kinder. In 2021 her butler Paul Burrell told British newspaper the Daily Mirror, “The love of her life was Hasnat, not Dodi, who died with her and who she’d been in a relationship with for 30 days. I think if the accident hadn’t happened, she’d have rekindled her romance with Hasnat.”

Romancing a princess

The world learned the details of the Diana-Khan romance when the inquest into her death took place. Khan’s 2008 statement said, “We had a normal sexual relationship and I have no reason to think that Diana was ever unfaithful to me… Although we did talk about marriage, we did not make a point of sitting down and discussing the specifics. It was something we would chat about generally if it came up in conversation. Neither of us ever proposed.”