It feels like we watched The Crown season 4 and its many, many awkward moments, like, 30 million years ago, but one scene that has unfortunately been living in my head rent-free since then? Yep, *that* lunch meeting between Princess Diana and now-Queen Camilla Parker Bowles at a restaurant called Ménage à Trois. It was…simply next-level. Like, straight up: If your new boyfriend tries to make you hang out with his ex-girlfriend, maybe…like…break up with him!
Season 5 of The Crown hits Netflix on Wednesday and will most likely cover the ’90s to the early aughts—aka Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s divorce will be a major focal point (as will Princess Diana’s tragic death). JIC you’re normal and you haven’t been re-bingeing season 4 in preparation like I have, it might be helpful to brush up on that cringey lunch scene from last season—and the general drama around Charles, Diana and his affair with Camilla—so you have all the deets.
JFYI: Even though Diana and Camilla’s tense lunch scene almost felt too wild to be true, the women in Prince Charles’s life really did hang out. Here’s the true story of Princess Diana and Camilla’s relationship—and that awkward meeting.
Charles Didn’t Tell Diana He and Camilla Used to Date
Yep. Diana thought Charles and Camilla were just friends and found out about their history only after she said yes to his proposal. Check out what royal biographer Penny Junor wrote about the whole ~situation~ in her book, The Duchess: Camilla Parker Bowles and the Love Affair That Rocked the Crown (via Good Housekeeping):
Diana Became Suspicious of Camilla During Their Lunch
First up, no: Charles and Diana didn’t actually meet at a restaurant called Ménage à Trois. That’s simply just The Crown trolling us all.
And when it comes to the details of their conversation, it looks like the show took some creative liberties there too. Meaning, no one knows exactly what these two talked about, and there’s no proof Camilla revealed that her and Charles’s nicknames for each other were Fred and Gladys. But thanks to royal biographer Andrew Morton’s book Diana: Her True Story—In Her Own Words, we do know that Camilla tried to do some digging into Charles and Diana’s ’ship:
Obviously, the friendship between Camilla and Diana didn’t exactly, uh, blossom, but they were spotted hanging out together at Ludlow races in 1980 (before Diana and Charles got married) to watch their, welp, shared man compete. How…fun for everyone. 😐
Diana Eventually Confronted Camilla
According to Morton, Diana confronted Camilla at a birthday party, saying, “I know what’s going on between you and Charles and I just want you to know that.” Camilla responded with, “You’ve got everything you ever wanted. You’ve got all the men in the world fall in love with you and you’ve got two beautiful children, what more do you want?” and Diana said THIS in return: “I want my husband.” Boom.
Then Diana ended the conversation by apologizing to Camilla for being in the way, saying, “It must be hell for both of you but I do know what’s going on. Don’t treat me like an idiot.”
Damn. The Crown season 5 is going to be intense.
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