'The Crown' Season 3: Did Queen Mother and Lord Mountbatten really hatch a plot for Prince Charles and Camilla Shand's split?
There are rumors of a fictional plot about Queen Mother and Lord Mountbatten's involvement in the split of Prince Charles and Camilla Shand during their early romance. But did any of that really happen?
As 'The Crown' unfolds its third chapter on Netflix, the love story of Prince Charles and Camilla Shand is one of the most awaited plotlines. Josh O’Connor will be the new Prince Charles and Emerald Fennell is set to play Camilla in the series.
It will be intriguing to see how the showrunners paint the picture of Charles and Camilla's close bond on the show as it is counted among the most controversial relationships in the British royal family. To add fuel to the flame, there are rumors of a fictional plot about Queen Mother and Lord Mountbatten's involvement in the split of Prince Charles and Camilla Shand during their early romance. But did any of that really happen?
The young pair met in 1970 and were smitten with each other. Prince Charles joined the Royal Navy in 1971 and never really confessed his true feelings to her despite beginning to date her. It is then that Camilla exchanged vows with Andrew Parker-Bowles. The love story got more complex when Andrew got involved with Princess Anne in an alleged fling.
Penny Junor, who has written biographies of both Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, sketches a complicated dynamic in Camilla's life as there was no competition between the two men. “Andrew was a commanding officer, Charles was very much a work in progress at that point, there was no competition between the two men," he told The Telegraph.
Christopher Wilson, author and biographer, who tracked Charles and Camilla’s relationship for book 'A Greater Love', told The Telegraph, "I can discount them cooking up any kind of plot. By the time Camilla actually met Prince Charles, she was already four years into a five-year campaign to get Andrew Parker Bowles up the aisle."
There are also reports that say the palace, including Charles' favorite uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten, made it clear that Camilla wouldn't have been their selection. "I think it is disturbing for women to have experiences if they have to remain on a pedestal after marriage," Mountbatten wrote to Charles. His godmother, Patricia, 2nd Countess Mountbatten of Burma, also formed the same view and told biographer Gyles Brandreth that the marriage "wouldn’t have been possible, not then. Camilla had a ‘history’ – and you didn’t want a past that hung about."
But there is no proof that Mountbatten arranged for Prince Charles to flee the town. "Prince Charles had joined the Navy, he was assigned to a ship and that ship was going to the Caribbean," Junor said.
In a letter, Charles wrote to Lord Mountbatten that this was "the last time I shall see her for eight months," after the pair parted after their final weekend together. His mother too wasn't quite fond of his closeness to Camilla. According to EOnline, in his 2018 book, 'Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles', author Tom Bower summarized how Queen Elizabeth II denounced the relationship, labeling Camilla as "that wicked woman."
Queen Elizabeth II finally accepted the affair wholeheartedly at the reception at Windsor Castle where she offered a toast to the newlyweds in front of 800 guests. "They have overcome Becher’s Brook and The Chair and all kinds of other terrible obstacles. They have come through and I’m very proud and wish them well. My son is home and dry with the woman he loves."
While the royal family might not have been in support of the two lovebirds initially, it seems unlikely they would have hatched a plot to separate the couple. Like every historical drama, 'The Crown' seems to be peppered with drama and fictional elements to add suspenseful elements for viewers' delight. The show will premiere on Netflix this Sunday, November 17, 2019.