Eyebrows have been raised after it emerged that the new series of The Crown, taken by many to be an accurate representation of the story of the monarchy, has fabricated an entire storyline about a plot to split up Charles and Camilla when they first dated as twentysomethings.
The urge to embellish the story of Charles and Camilla has been ridiculed given the not-insubstantial amount of drama inherent in their actual relationship, which began when they met at a party in 1972, and Camilla famously declared: “My great-grandmother was the mistress of your great-great-grandfather. I feel we have something in common.”
In reality, Camilla and Charles dated briefly, and then split up after Camilla returned to her long-term boyfriend, Andrew Parker Bowles, whom she soon married. The affair was rekindled shortly after Charles married Diana.
In the new series however, Lord Mountbatten and the Queen Mother are seen conspiring to break up the relationship between Charles and Camilla, believing it to be unsuitable.
Christopher Wilson, author of A Greater Love—Charles and Camilla, told The Telegraph the notion of such a scheme being cooked up by Mountbatten and the Queen Mother was hugely unlikely, saying: “I don’t think the Queen Mother was any great fan of his… She always treated him with suspicion, always.”
Penny Junor, who has written biographies of both the prince and the duchess, said it was a clear use of “dramatic license” that she feared could “cause a lot of damage.”
The Crown’s creator and chief writer Peter Morgan has previously stated that he values his “independence” and reserves the right to “join the dots,” but critics say the series has become increasingly willing to fabricate storylines as it has progressed.
There was much consternation when the second season showed Prince Philip attending sex parties organized by the era’s celebrity osteopath Stephan Ward. This seedy world did exist and led to the Profumo Affair, a sex scandal that rocked 1960s Britain, but few believe Philip attended the parties and Buckingham Palace has always denied Philip’s involvement.
The first episode of the new series, which covers the period 1964 to 1977, will screen on Netflix on Nov. 17; however, previews have been sent out to media already and it is in one of these episodes that Charles is seen confiding in his great uncle, Lord Mountbatten, that Camilla is “the one.” Mountbatten, unconvinced of the wisdom of the match, hatches a plan with the Queen Mother to break up the relationship by engineering an eight-month posting overseas to “bring him to his senses.”
Queen Elizabeth is portrayed as standing up for her son, saying: “What if it is love? Shouldn’t it be allowed to run its course? I was allowed to marry my choice.”