The Crown viewers can't believe Princess Diana and Camilla were 'friends'

Emily Gulla
·3-min read
Photo credit: Express Newspapers - Getty Images
Photo credit: Express Newspapers - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

The love triangle between Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Camilla Parker Bowles is no secret - and after three seasons we are finally seeing it portrayed in season four of Netflix's The Crown.

But one aspect of the trio's relationship has shocked fans, with scenes in the new season of The Crown showing Diana and Camilla going for lunch together. So, were the two women ever really friends?

Of course, as The Crown has previously shown, Prince Charles dated Camilla (then called Camilla Shand) in the '70s before he left to serve in the Navy and she went on to marry Andrew Parker Bowles (who, FYI, had previously dated Charles' sister Princess Anne). But that didn't mean Camilla ever left Charles' life, and it's known that the pair continued to see each other, even once Charles became engaged to and married Diana.

In episode three of The Crown, we see Camilla leave Diana a note inviting her for, let's be honest, an incredibly awkward lunch while Charles is away before the wedding - and viewers are shocked to discover that the lunch between the two women actually happened ( at an aptly-named London restaurant, Menage A Trois, no less).

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

The Crown's viewers have reacted to the lunch on Twitter, with one user writing, "This Diana and Camilla lunch meeting was a nightmare..poor Diana. Another added, "Did Camilla really invite Diana at Ménage à Trois for lunch? For real? What kind of sick joke is that?"

"Camilla and Diana having lunch at a restaurant called Menage a Trois and Camilla at the end saying "I have no problem sharing" is absolutely brilliant!" another tweet read.

On the relationship between the two women, royal biographer Penny Junor wrote in her book The Duchess: Camilla Parker Bowles and the Love Affair That Rocked the Crown: "Instead of explaining to Diana at the outset that Camilla was an old girlfriend, he [Charles] had presented her as nothing more than a friend. ... It didn't occur to him that she [Diana] needed to know before someone else told her ... He came clean after the engagement, admitting that Camilla had been one of his most intimate friends, but reassured Diana that from now on there would be no other women."

However, it was reportedly the lunch between Diana and Camilla that made Diana more suspicious of Charles and Camilla's relationship.

Royal writer Andrew Morton revealed in the book Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words: "The friendly note invited her to lunch. It was during that meeting, arranged to coincide with Prince Charles’s trip to Australia and New Zealand, that Diana became suspicious. Camilla kept asking if Diana was going to hunt when she moved to Highgrove."

Photo credit: Netflix
Photo credit: Netflix

The conversation is recreated in The Crown, with Camilla hinting that Highgrove, Prince Charles' estate, is where she and Charles would spend time together - and it's clear Diana isn't welcome.

Diana and Camilla were pictured together in real life at the Ludlow Racecourse in 1980, where they both watched Prince Charles compete in a horse race - and Camilla even attended Charles and Diana's wedding in 1981.

However, it wasn't until 1989 that Diana confronted Camilla, with Andrew Morton writing in his biography of the Princess: "'The voice inside me had said, "just go for it."' Diana recalled. 'I said, "I know what's going on between you and Charles and I just want you to know that."'

"Camilla, Diana claims, responded with a 'very interesting' question. 'She said to me, "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?" So I said, "I want my husband"'."

So, safe to say any friendship between the women definitely didn't last long, then.

Season 4 of The Crown is out on Netflix now.

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