In season 4 of The Crown, the now infamous royal triangle that was Princess Diana, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles doesn't exactly show the latter in too flattering a light. As a result, Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla's @ClarenceHouse Twitter account and Instagram account has had to restrict comments in the wake of tons of trolling by Diana supporters who watched this season of The Crown
What do we know about what happened?
Prince Charles met a 23-year-old Camilla Shand at a polo match at Windsor Great Park in 1970. They began dating soon after but separated suddenly in 1973 when Charles joined the Royal Navy.
The two remained close friends even when they partnered with other people, but a series of explosive tapes and leaked phone calls in 1991 confirmed the two had begun an on-off affair, while Camilla was married to Andrew Parker Bowles and Charles to Princess Diana. In 1994, he admitted that this had occurred but said it had only happened after his marriage to Diana had "irretrievably broken down, us both having tried" in 1986.
After their separation, more rumours of cheating emerged, and Diana conducted a tell-all interview with the BBC's Martin Bashir in which she disclosed details about her own infidelity and struggle with bulimia as well as Charles's affair with Camilla, making the famous quote, "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded."
Two years after the tragic death of Princess Diana, in 1999, Charles and Camilla made their public debut as a couple after re-kindling their relationship.
One year into their rekindled relationship, in 2000, the Queen agreed to attend a lunch alongside Charles and Camilla (a subtle signifier that her majesty approved of the couple). Tensions had reportedly been fraught, between Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and Camilla as a result of the scandal their affair created, with Philip apparently becoming an unlikely ally for Diana amidst all the turbulence during her marriage separation, with letters revealing he thought his son "silly to risk everything for Camilla."
On April 9, 2005, Charles and Camilla were married during a civil ceremony in St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. Post-ceremony, Camilla officially became Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall.
The Netflix Angle
Those who follow the royal family will likely be aware how the series' producers depict their relationship on-screen; Camilla always came off worse – and does in the series – such was the adoration for Diana. The makers play up this and The Crown depicts Prince Charles and Camilla seeing each other during the early stages of Charles and Diana's marriage, for example, when a number of royal experts say this was not the case – they didn't begin an affair until 1986.
Apparently, Prince Charles saw Camilla once between the engagement and marriage, which was to politely hand over this little gift in person. That's what we are told," Royal Historian Hugo Vickers told Insider, referring to the engraved bracelet. "To my understanding of the relationship, after that, he didn't see Camilla until 1986."
He said that he also felt the series did not fully depict was the reality that Prince Charles and Camilla were both in attendance at official royal engagements throughout the 1980s but that this had nothing to do with an intimate relationship between the pair.
For example, Andrew Parker Bowles played a role in the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Therefore, it made sense for Camilla to be in attendance at the wedding.
"If you look through records of the wedding, you'll see that the Queen's Sovereign Escort of the Household Cavalry was Andrew Parker Bowles (Camilla's then-husband)," Vickers continued. "He played a big role in leading the wedding procession, so of course Camilla would be at the wedding — it had nothing to do with her being an ex-mistress."
Not forgetting, it was widely known that neither Diana nor Charles were hugely agreeable to their marriage in the first place and that the royal family had rejected his marrying Camilla initially, due to her "past history," favouring the younger, aristocratic, "purer" Diana.
Both women, as a result, became victims of the press; fodder for tabloid gossip columns – Camilla is left out of this narrative in the Netflix series.
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