5 Things The Crown Got Wrong About King Charles & Camilla's Relationship

Contains spoilers for "The Crown"

Season 5 of "The Crown" dropped on Netflix on November 9, 2022, and fans are ready to take another dive into the retelling of the lives of the royal family — specifically, the love triangle between then-Prince Charles, Camilla Parker Bowles, and the late Princess Diana. The fifth season of the popular series includes a brand new cast and features plenty of scandals, including the downfall between Charles and Diana's marriage, and Camilla's involvement in their relationship ending (via Entertainment Weekly).

Like many television shows that reenact the real lives of public figures, though, "The Crown" exaggerates certain aspects of Charles and Camilla's relationship. Additionally, some things have been left out of the series, leaving fans questioning what else could be wrong with the portrayal of the royal family.

If you aren't very familiar with King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, just know their relationship was quite controversial. From the time they met in 1970, the couple has faced many cheating scandals and even a nasty leak of, let's just say, private conversations, in front of the public eye (via People). Of course, "The Crown" has included many of these scandalous moments, but not everything is as it seems. Allow us to break down what isn't entirely factual about Netflix's depiction of the royal couple.

Camilla and Diana didn't actually talk about the bracelet

So, did King Charles III really give Camilla, Queen Consort, a bracelet as a gift the night before his wedding to the late Princess Diana? Well, in short, yes. However, "The Crown" took liberties when portraying scenes about the bracelet.

In the Season 4 episode titled "Fairytale," we see Diana discover the bracelet that Charles was going to gift Camilla as a way to end their relationship for good. Hugo Vickers, royal historian and author of "The Crown Dissected: An Analysis of the Netflix Series The Crown Seasons 1, 2, and 3," told Insider that although this event did happen, the show skipped over the true meaning behind the bracelet. According to Vickers, the bracelet was engraved with a "G" and an "F," which stood for "Girl Friday," Charles' nickname for Camilla. However, in "The Crown," Camila reveals during lunch with Diana that her and Charles' nicknames for each other were "Fred" and "Gladys," which was represented on the jewelry. Vickers confirmed that the interaction between Camilla and the late Lady Diana was fiction. "I'm sure that never happened," Vickers stated.

Charles didn't push for a divorce after Diana returned from the U.S.

In 1992, then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially announced their separation, according to People. However, the depiction of how they got to that place was a bit different in "The Crown" than how things actually happened.

In Season 4, Netflix recreated Princess Diana's trip to the United States, including her visit to New York City, where she attended to Brooklyn Academy of Music during its 1989 Royal Gala. This trip did indeed happen, but the show used the trip as a way to jump time to Prince Charles wanting a divorce.

"On Diana's return from America, there is an unpleasant scene in which Prince Charles yells at her for 'hurting' his mistress. 'Camilla is who I want,' he screams," royal historian Hugo Vickers wrote in his analysis, "The Crown Dissected" (via Insider). It makes for a dramatic scene but it's highly unlikely that this conversation took place, especially at that time. "History does not corroborate any wish for divorce or separation at this time" Vickers revealed. 

Tampongate was accurate, but where was Squidgygate?

King Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, are not exempt from controversy throughout their relationship. If you are up to date and saw that episode in Season 5 of "The Crown," then allow us to explain the significance of Tampongate.

The tampon conversation occurred in 1989 during an incredibly private phone call between then-Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. The call, which had been recorded, was sold to the press and a transcript was published some four years later (via Cosmopolitan). The call, which took place when Charles and Camilla were both married to different people, reveals the two being intimate with one another in the most cringey way possible. Charles joked that he wanted to be reincarnated as Camilla's tampon so he could live in her trousers ... so there's that!

As awkward as that scene is, it's all accurate. However, "The Crown" completely brushed over a second phone call scandal — this one between Princess Diana and her close friend James Gilbey, which took place just 14 days after Tampongate. As Time detailed, Gilbey affectionately refers to Diana as "Squidgy," giving the impression the two were having a romantic relationship during her marriage. In the call, Diana even complains to Gilbey about Charles, saying that he makes life torturous. The most scandalous part of their conversation was the fact that Diana seemed worried about potentially getting pregnant, which may allude to her cheating on Charles, just as Charles and Camilla's call alluded to their infidelity. The conversation, which was sold to The Sun in August 1992 by bank manager Cyril Reenan, set off what was referred to as "Squidgygate."

Their affair was not as continuous as depicted

"The Crown" is known for exaggerating scenarios in the lives of the royal family, so it is no surprise the same this is happening regarding the timeline of the love triangle between King Charles III, Camilla, Queen Consort, and Princess Diana.

The show depicts Charles and Camilla's relationship taking place throughout the entirety of Charles and Diana's marriage, but that is not the case. According to "Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life" by royal biographer Sally Bedell Smith, Camilla and Charles did pick up their romance in 1979 (via Reader's Digest). At the time, Camilla was married to Andrew Parker Bowles, and had been since 1973. However, Charles was not yet married and, according to Smith, the affair ceased (for a time) when Charles married Diana.

According to People, the affair between Charles and Camilla didn't pick up again until 1986, about five years into Charles and Diana's marriage. It was during this time that Diana confronted Camilla with her knowledge of the affair and shared the story in recordings she made for Andrew Morton's "Diana: Her True Story." "I was terrified of her," Diana admitted. "I said, 'I know what's going on between you and Charles and I just want you to know that,'" Diana recounted. "She said to me, 'You've got everything you ever wanted. All the men in the world fall in love with you and you've got two beautiful children – what more would you want?' ... So I said, 'I want my husband.'"

The Queen Mother and Lord Mounbatten didn't work together to break the couple up

"The Crown" Season 3 featured a royal family rumor that still has yet to be factually proven. In the season, the show goes back in time to the beginning of then-Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles' relationship, and even includes one of their first breakups before his marriage to the late Princess Diana. The Netflix show ran with the known rumor that the royal family forced Prince Charles to break things off with Camilla by shipping him off to the Navy on a military assignment.

According to Cosmopolitan, Charles' godfather Lord Louis Mountbatten, was especially unhappy with their relationship and wanted Charles to marry his granddaughter instead, so he — in cahoots with Charles' grandmother, the Queen Mother — used his connections in the military to deploy the prince, giving Camilla space to continue her engagement with the British Army officer Andrew Parker Bowles, whom she was with while Charles was deployed (via Reader's Digest). Royal author and expert Robert Lacey, author of "The Crown," told People that it may have been possible for Mounbatten to pull some strings, but the Queen Mother would not have been involved. "They loathed each other!" he asserted.

Additionally, royal historian Hugo Vickers said no such meeting between the Queen Mother, Camilla's family, and Camilla's soon-to-be in-laws to plan an engagement between Andrew and Camilla would've occurred. "It is accepted that at that time Camilla was in love with Andrew Parker Bowles, a good-looking cavalry officer, who knew when to strike," he said. "Meanwhile the young Prince of Wales was too unsure of himself to make up his mind. There was no need for any Palace plot."