Royal Expert Reveals Whether Prince Charles Was Really As Awful As The Crown Portrays Him

Netflix's The Crown has now entered the Princess Diana era, with Emma Corrin playing the late royal in Season 4. Unfortunately, for Prince Charles and his current wife Camilla Parker Bowles, the scripted series does not paint them in the best light. According to the show, Charles and Camilla carried out their affair throughout Charles' entire relationship with Diana. After years of restoring their image and incurring favor with the public, Charles and Camilla are now facing backlash again in response to the series. Marie Claire even reported that they restricted the ability to comment on their Twitter account.

Yes, The Crown is about real people, but it is a fictionalized dramatization. As a result, many viewers cannot help wondering which elements are true and which parts were embellished (or even made up) for the storyline. Nicki Swift spoke to Kinsey Schofield, royal expert and founder of, a website about the British royal family, to separate the fact from fiction. 

Schofield said The Crown "got it right" when it comes to depicting the way "Prince Charles treated Princess Diana deplorably once he decided that their marriage was over." Charles was "cold, ice cold," freezing out Princess Diana. As a result, Schofield said she "felt alone and became paranoid." However, there were plenty of things that The Crown got wrong in regard to Charles and Diana's relationship. But again, it's a dramatized work of fiction. Schofield broke down the most major moments of the season for us, revealing the truth about the adultery, jealousy, and deceit throughout their marriage.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana were actually in love at some point

The Crown made it seem like Prince Charles was always involved with Camilla Parker Bowles. However, royal expert Kinsey Schofield shared, "One of the disappointing aspects of Season 4 was that you didn't necessarily see Charles and Diana in love. Throughout the entire season Charles has one foot out the door while trying to navigate the 'grotesque misalliance' — which is what Charles refers to their marriage as in episode 10." Additionally, the show fudged their relationship timeline. Schofield said, "Where The Crown got it wrong... Prince Charles pursued teenage Diana, he did love Diana, he wanted to love Diana, and he tried to make the marriage work."

Despite his depiction on the show, Schofield said Charles was "crazy about her early in their marriage, used to buy her flowers, pinch her butt at royal engagements." She explained that Diana was "so devastated when it all started to fall apart because she HAD felt love from him before."

Additionally, "contrary to episode 1 of The Crown, Princess Diana did not pursue Prince Charles," Schofield said. "He met her when they were children. She was close to his younger brothers Princes Andrew and Edward, and Charles once interrupted the children during a game of hide and seek. Diana was behind a curtain." This particular imagery might have inspired the shot of Diana behind the flower pots on The Crown. Nevertheless, Charles was 12 years older than Diana, so he did not see her as a love interest until years later.

Prince Charles had his staff lie to Princess Diana about his affair

It's unclear exactly when Princess Diana learned about Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles' affairbut royal expert Kinsey Schofield said, "She didn't know who she could trust because his friends had been smiling to her face while knowing about Camilla. Their staff had been instructed to lie to her about Camilla. His actions crippled Diana's self-esteem, her self-worth, and quite frankly, made her fear for her safety." Diana even swore off Chanel because the brand's "CC" logo reminded her of Charles and Camilla. "Diana even had staff at Kensington Palace remove CC buttons or emblems from her wardrobe," Schofield added.

Diana also hated their home at Highgrove because "Camilla was practically their next door neighbor." Schofield shared that, in 1983, Diana pressed "redial" on Charles' phone after he was acting suspiciously and "Camilla answered on the other line." Another time, Diana left for the weekend, but before she departed, "she asked her guard to turn around and do a drive by of the house because she felt like Camilla would be there. Once they pulled back up, they saw Camilla's car in the driveway."

Schofield also noted that The Crown excluded an instance when Charles' phone conversations with a female leaked to the media. Schofield said, "The press obviously assumed that it was Lady Diana on the phone with Charles, his fiancé, but it was actually Camilla. Diana knew it was not her voice on the line."

Prince Charles was jealous of Princess Diana

While The Crown does dramatize real life, Prince Charles really did resent Princess Diana's popularity. During their Australia trip, which was a plot line on episode 6, Diana confronted Charles about his relationship with Camilla Parker Bowles. Royal expert Kinsey Schofield said Charles "accused her of distancing herself from him and hating Highgrove," of which "both are true." Additionally, Schofield claimed, "There were audible groans from the crowds when Prince Charles would walk along their side of the streets because the fans wanted to be on Diana's side." Ouch. Schofield believes Charles' insecurity "led him further and further away from Princess Diana and closer to Camilla... who continuously fed his ego, built him up, and justified his resentful feelings."

"Charles never understood the infatuation the media or public had with his wife. He did not see her value," Schofield continued. And the ballet incident from episode 9? That did happen. Schofield insists "Prince Charles was jealous!" In episode 10, "Diana cries over Charles telling people she is crazy. This is true," per Schofield, who said that Charles' camp leaked unflattering stories about Diana to detract from the Camilla of it all. Toward the end of Diana's life, Charles' "heart softened toward her." It was not always as contentious as some people like to perpetuate.

Nevertheless, The Crown Season 4 "resurrects old wounds that have taken decades to heal. Twenty years of Charles and Camilla rehabilitation down the drain." Perhaps Seasons 5 and 6 will be more favorable?