WARNING: This article contains spoilers from all seasons of The Crown
Season six, part one of The Crown saw Prince Charles (played by Dominic West) taking a defiant stance against his mother Queen Elizabeth II (Imelda Staunton) after he demanded action to be taken in the direct aftermath of Princess Diana’s (Elizabeth Debicki) sudden death.
He told the Queen she needed to be the “mother to the nation” as he made an impassioned speech.
The Queen seemed cold in response, saying it was a matter for the Spencer family who wanted a quiet funeral.
However, Charles refused to let the matter lie and told the Queen how Princess Diana had resonated with the people who loved her.
Moreover, Prince Charles travelled to Paris to collect his ex-wife’s body and was depicted breaking down in the mortuary as he spoke to Princess Diana’s ghost.
How did Prince Charles really feel about Princess Diana’s death?
In an exclusive interview with Daily Express, the author of Queen Victoria’s Descendants and royal expert Marlene Koenig addressed the real-life events and how the now-King Charles III reacted to Princess Diana’s death.
She said: “First all, his sons lost their mother but if you know – what did do? He flew to France to bring her home. He’s the one who pushed for a state funeral and respecting her.
“She was once his wife and the mother of his two children and that’s something that could never be pushed aside.
“The fact that he went, ‘I’m going’ and took [Diana’s] two sisters and that he went – I can’t even imagine what it was like when they brought him into the room to see her body, knowing that that was his sons’ mother.
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“And yes, they were divorced but part of that never dies, that he was married to her.
“Yes, it was a failed marriage but they produced two sons and I think that was all-important to him and he put that first to his mother [the Queen].”
Just like in The Crown, the real-life Queen wanted the Spencers to deal with Princess Diana’s death because she was no longer a member of the Royal Family.
However, Charles put his foot down on the matter and wanted to do it all.
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Koenig reflected: “I think that was far beyond admirable because he was putting his sons and the importance of how Diana was recognised in the British public.”
Nonetheless, the historian said it was hypocritical of the way the media had treated Diana prior to her death and her romance with Dodi Fayed (Khalid Abdalla).
“For those six weeks, she was tarred and feathered in the British press. She dies, she’s a saint. It was unreal,” she said.
“How it turned on a dime. One day they’re all trashing her for this whole thing with Fayed. She went to Angola very briefly [for the landmine ban campaign].”
The historian added: “Charles did the right thing and stood up to his mother the sovereign.”
However, Koenig said Charles’ attitude to divorcing Diana was a different matter.
“Oh, I doubt it. I don’t know but I doubt it. They were much better as parents.”
She continued: “But they were still parents. Their sons were getting older and I think that was still important – they still had a relationship as mom and dad.
“Husband and wife was an abysmal failure. I think even Diana – from reading – she realised Camilla was the right one and she expected them to get married – and I think she expected to re-marry as well. It just wouldn’t have been Dodi.”
The Crown season 6, part 1 is streaming on Netflix now
The Crown season 6, part 2 will be released on Netflix on December 14
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