Separating fact from fiction in the final episodes of The Crown

Separating fact from fiction in the last ever episodes of The Crown – from Kate meeting Princess Diana to Prince William blaming Charles for his mother’s death

  • Hugely successful series drew to a close today with the release of final episodes
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The Crown came to a poignant end this morning when Netflix released the hotly-anticipated final five episodes. 

The hugely popular series – which followed the late Queen becoming monarch in 1952 right up to King Charles’ wedding to Camilla in 2005 – has been viewed by over by 73m households around the world since it began in 2016.

The final episodes of the hit show – starring Imelda Staunton and Dominic West –  delve into Prince William’s university days at St Andrews, where he meets his future wife Kate Middleton, the inquest into Princess Diana‘s death and Princess Margaret‘s ill health

But as the show’s storylines creep ever closer to recent royal events, how much of what is presented on screen is actually true?

In the sixth episode, viewers are led to believe that Kate Middleton and her mother met Princess Diana and Prince William by pure chance on a shopping trip in 2006. 

Pictured: Imelda Staunton as The Queen in the final episodes of Netflix’s hit series The Crown, which landed on the streaming platform today

Although the Royal Family have never commented on specific storylines, the Princess of Wales did confirm during an engagement in Wales in April that she never had the pleasure of meeting her late mother-in-law. 

What’s more, another highly damaging storyline claimed that Prince William ‘blamed’ Prince Charles for his mother’s tragic death in a car accident in 1997. 

After being criticised for taking liberties with royal events in previous seasons, it seems like The Crown writers were careful to be accurate in other areas – and even filmed scenes at William and Kate’s university home on the actual street where they lived in St Andrews. 

Here FEMAIL delves into what is factual about the final ever episodes and what is pure fiction. 

Episode Five: Willsmania

Prince William becomes a global heartthrob. Verdict: True

The fifth episode of series is named ‘Willsmania’, in reference to how the Prince of Wales became a global heartthrob in the late 1990s.

During the episode, the young royal – who is still a student at Eton – receives letters from adoring girls, telling them how sorry they are for the loss of his mother.

Prince William – then 16 – pictured arriving in Vancouver to a rock star’s welcome from adoring teenage girls in March 1998

This famous image from William’s visit to Vancouver shows a young woman holding a sign reading: ‘William, it’s me you’ve been looking for’

Crowds of teenage girls seen outside the space centre in Vancouver in March 1998 to catch a glimpse of Prince William

 In one scene, a room master shows the Prince of Wales a sack full of 600 letters that had been addressed to William.

In 2017, royal expert Ingrid Seward told The Sun that a school friend claimed William returned to Eton four days after Diana’s funeral to find 600 letters waiting for him.

On top of this, the episode also dramatises the family’s trip to Canada in 1998 – where Prince William received a rock star’s welcome from fans when they touched down in Vancouver.

The then 16-year-old was pictured looking bashful as he shook hands with hoards of screaming teenage girls. 

One fan held a sign reading: ‘William, it’s me you’ve been looking for.’ 

Meanwhile, others brought flowers to throw at the Prince while another held up copies of magazines with William’s face on the front.

Peter Mansbridge – host of CBC’s The National – said at the time: ‘Hundreds of screaming, swooning teenage girls were in Vancouver today to give a pop star’s welcome to a shy young prince.’ 

The final episodes of the Netflix series recreate William being hounded by crowds of adoring fans

The show has also recreated fans holding up copies of magazines with Prince William’s face on the front

The Netflix series has even gone as far as recreating this famous sign that was held outside the airport in Vancouver

Following their arrival in Vancouver, Prince Charles tells Camilla over the phone in the episode: ‘It was madness – like he was some pop star.’ 

Prince Harry gives Prince William a teacup filled with champagne at Windsor. Verdict: False 

Elsewhere in the episode, the Royal Family gathers at Windsor to have an official portrait taken.

After being told to ‘keep smiling’ for the cameras, a forlorn Prince William is then approached by Prince Harry while holding two teacups.

The Duke of Sussex then tells his big brother that he’s sneakily poured champagne into them. 

Pictured: Netflix’s reimagining of the Royal Family seen posing for an official portrait in the final season

However, it seems unlikely that 13-year-old Prince Harry would have managed to secure champagne and this interaction has never been reported on.

In his bombshell memoir Spare, the Duke of Sussex did reveal that he used to drink beers by the river in Windsor as a student at Eton – but not until a year later.

Later in the episode, the brothers are seen drinking again in a hotel room in Canada – where they raise a toast to Diana with a beer and whiskey.

King Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry do a photocall during their skiing trip in Canada. Verdict: True

Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry seen posing for a photocall on their holiday to Whistler in Canada

In the Netflix episode, Prince William tells his father that he ‘hates’ doing photocalls while on this trip

After William’s warm welcome from the public, Prince Charles takes his two sons skiing on Whistler Mountain in British Colombia in the episode. 

This trip did take place in November 1998 and marked the family’s first visit to North America since Princess Diana’s death.

However, The Crown writers then imagined a conversation between Charles, William and Harry concerning the press. 

After arriving at their log cabin, Prince William is adamant that he doesn’t want to participate in a photo call with a group of journalists and says ‘I hate that stuff’.

The teen royal then tells his father that he’s ‘not the one with the image problem’.

A 12-year-old Prince Harry then tells his brother: ‘That was pretty harsh. He did always say that we’d have to combine official duties with the holiday.’ 

Prince William ‘blames’ Charles for Diana’s death. Verdict: False 

King Charles, Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry pictured on Prince Harry’s christening day in 1984

The fifth episode depicts Prince William ‘blaming’ Charles for his mother’s tragic death. Charles, William and Harry pictured in December 1998

Following the skiing trip, Prince Charles and Prince William’ relationship becomes increasingly strained in the episode.

After returning home from the holiday, the Queen and Prince Philip invite William to visit them at Windsor encourage him to speak about his grief – but when he arrives, it’s only his father there.

In this dramatisation, the King asks William to ‘help him understand’ his anger towards him.

William then says: ‘She should never have been anywhere near the Al-Fayeds. She should have been safe with us and the fact that she wasn’t IS your fault. 

‘I know you didn’t actually drive the car but you drove her into the arms of this that did – by making her so unhappy. By loving someone else.’

A speechless Charles then says: ‘Well if you want to make that connection, that’s your right but I find it very upsetting and deeply unkind. 

‘My responsibility for mummy ended a long time before she got to Paris. That accident was not in any way may fault and to even suggest it was is courageous. I resent the accusation.’

The end of this episode shows Prince Philip – played by Jonathan Pryce – looking wistfully at his son and grandson hugging

Following this, Prince Philip visits William at Eton where he urges his grandson to forgive his father. The episode ends with Philip driving William to High Grove for an emotional reunion with his father as the Duke of Edinburgh watches tearfully from the distance. 

There has never been any reports that William blames his father for Diana’s tragic passing and The Crown’s suggestion is highly damaging.

In her 2007 book The Diana Chronicles, author Tina Brown said Charles was ‘absolutely distraught’ after the accident. 

She wrote: ‘He fell apart. He knew, instantly, that this was going to be a terrible thing, that… he will be blamed, that they will be blamed, for the death of Diana.’

Episode Six: Ruritania

Queen is jealous of Tony Blair’s popularity. Verdict: False 

The sixth episode of The Crown suggests that the late Queen was jealous of Tony Blair’s popularity. The pair pictured in 2000

Episode six mostly revolves around the Queen’s working relationship with Tony Blair, who was the UK Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007. 

The episode opens with the Queen having a nightmare about Tony Blair being labelled ‘King Tony’ and seeing the politician and his wife Cherie on the thrones at Westminster Abbey. 

Later on, the Queen is informed of popularity polls where Blair has scored higher than her.

Over the course of the episode, the Queen becomes increasingly obsessive over Blair’s popularity – and even suggests he is becoming as favourable as Winston Churchill. 

However, there is no evidence to suggest that the late monarch was effected by Blair’s popularity in the late 1990s.

That said, there are reports that hinted that the Queen and Blair’s relationship was strained.

Former PM Tony Blair – who is played Bertie Carvel – has a starring role in the sixth episode of the final series and is shown looking deep in thought during one of his weekly meetings with The Queen 

According to The Sunday Times’ chief political commentator Tim Shipman, the Queen once told a senior French diplomat that her ‘least favourite’ Prime Minister had been Tony Blair. 

The late monarch was reportedly asked who had been her favourite PM – and joked: ‘that’s not the right question.’

She allegedly then told the diplomat: ‘What you should ask me is who has been my least favourite.’

She then is said to have answered: ‘Mr Blair, of course.’

In 2007, The Telegraph reported that the Queen was ‘surprised’ that Blair was the first of her Prime Ministers to change the day of their weekly meetings – from Tuesday to Wednesday, which allowed him to prepare for PM Questions.

The publication reported that ‘surprise’ indicated that the Queen was ‘seriously annoyed’. 

Tony Blair suggests Queen gets rid of unnecessary positions in the Palace. Verdict: True. 

Later in the episode, Tony advises the Queen on how the Royal Family could be modernised by making some cut-backs.

The PM then advises the monarch cut old-fashioned roles – such as the herb grower, swan warden, glassware supervisor and royal astronomer.

Speaking to her private secretary afterwards, The Crown’s imagining of the Queen said: ‘The longer it went on, the heavier my heart became.’ 

After considering Blair’s proposals, The Queen tells him in their next meeting: ‘What they discovered was not indefensible extravagance or luxury or a collection of empty Ruritanian titles – but an extraordinary array of precious expertise – skills that have been passed down for generations all throughout the same families and the vehicle for that continuity is the crown. 

‘The spell that we cast and have cast for centuries is our immutability. Tradition is our strength, respect for our forebears and the preservation of generations of their wisdom and learned experience. Modernity is not always the answer – sometimes antiquity is too.’

Although the topics the Queen discussed with her PMs were always shrouded in secrecy, it is known that Blair was involved in the Royal Family’s finances.

In July 2000, Blair announced a 10-year financial deal with the Royal Family – which involved them ‘working for free for three years’ after the royal household made a surplus from taxpayers’ funding of the civil list.

Blair delivers a dud speech to the Women’s Institute. Verdict: True

Former PM Tony Blair seen delivering a speech at the Women’s Institute conference, which led to him being heckled by the audience

The episode also shows the Queen being jealous of Blair’s ability to capture an audience.

However, the monarch is depicted as being particularly delighted when Blair’s radical speech to the Women’s Institute failed to hit the right note.

The episode ends with the Queen telling him during their weekly meeting: ‘You can charm America and in fact the whole world but comes up short with the Women’s Institute.’

At the time, the audience of 10,000 women at Wembley heckled, jeered and slow clapped for the PM during the speech.

The audience reportedly heckled Blair when he listed his government initiatives, interest rate cuts and the effect technology was having on postal services.

The Guardian’s social affairs editor John Carvel wrote at the time: ‘In an extraordinary error of political judgment, Tony Blair tried to use the Women’s Institute’s national conference in Wembley yesterday as a platform to reposition Labour as a party of traditional values in a changing world.

‘The audience of 10,000 women representing the backbone of Britain responded first with sporadic heckling, then slow handclapping and finally undisguised jeering from sections of the hall.’

Episode Seven: Alma Mater

Kate Middleton meets Princess Diana and Prince William selling the Big Issue. Verdict: False

 Elizabeth Debicki and Ed McVey seen filming scenes where Princess Diana and Prince William are selling The Big Issue in London

In the opening of episode seven, a teenage Kate Middleton is dress shopping in London with her mother Carole.

As they walk out of the store, the mother-and-daughter catch sight of Princess Diana and Prince William selling copies of The Big Issue.

After Kate hands Diana a note, the royal says: ‘That’s very generous.’

She then asks the future Princess of Wales for her name and then tells Prince William to thank her.

The future Prince and Princess of Wales then exchange a knowing look as William hands over the copy of the magazine.

However, this meeting between Diana and Kate appears to have been imagined by The Crown writers – as the current Princess of Wales confirmed last Spring that she had never actually met her mother-in-law.

While speaking with royal fans in Aberfan, Kate said it was an ‘honour’ to wear Diana’s engagement ring – after a member of the public admired it.

The Princess then said: ‘I never met her, sadly.’

The Princess of Wales then went on to say Diana would have been a ‘brilliant grandmother’ and emphasised how much she is ‘missed everyday’. 

That said, Princess Diana was known to be a Big Issue supporter and would often purchase copies outside Sloane Square station, not far from her Kensington Palace home.

Prince William holds a press conference on his 18th birthday. Verdict: False.

Prince William and Prince Charles seen at William’s first ever press conference in September 2000, when he announced his plans to take a gap year

Later in the episode, Prince William is seen holding his first press conference for his 18th birthday – and was joined by Prince Charles and Prince Harry, who jokingly called him a ‘swot’.

During the dramatised press conference, William is asked about what university he wants to attend and what he’d make of anti-monarchist students.

When quizzed about future love interests, the Prince of Wales replies: ‘I think I will have enough to be getting on with without worrying too much about girls.’ 

However, Prince William didn’t hold his first press conference until three months after his eighteenth birthday – where he announced he would be studying at St Andrews following his gap year. 

Discussing his plans to travel to South America, William told reporters outside his father’s home at High Grove: ‘I wanted to do something constructive.

‘I mean I could do other work but I thought this was the way to try to help people out and meet a whole range of different people from different countries.’ 

To mark his 18th birthday, Prince William allowed cameras to film snippets of his everyday life at Eton – but didn’t hold a press conference as The Crown suggests

According to CNN, Prince William spent his 18th birthday in June 2000 studying for his A-Levels at Eton and did not interact with the press.

Instead, the future King allowed cameras into Eton ahead of time to capture footage of his everyday life to mark the occasion.  

Prince William had another romance before Kate Middleton at St Andrews. Verdict: True.

After Prince William arrives at St Andrews in the seventh episode, the royal is depicted as having a relationship with another student before Kate.

While the Princess of Wales is seen working in an Italian restaurant, she spots William and another student – who the show have called Lola Airdale Cavenish Kincaid – brushing off paparazzi and laughing with friends.

She is later introduced as William’s girlfriend when the royal is speaking with Kate in the library.

Pictured: Carly Massy-Birch, the student who was romantically involved with Prince William before Kate Middleton

Although it is true that William dated another woman before Kate, her name was actually Carly Massy-Birch.

He met the English language and creative writing student in the year above him when William auditioned for the role of Zooey in a play based on JD Salinger’s Franny And Zooey.

Her parents previously confirmed that their daughter and William were ‘an item’, going out for a couple of months when they were ‘freshers’ at the university.

‘William was very taken with her, which was completely understandable,’ said one of her friends at the time.

Carly was reported to have dated the Prince shortly before he fell for Kate Middleton, leading to a rivalry between the two girls.

But according to Mimi and Hugh Massy-Birch, there is no rift between Carly and Kate. The pair – along with the Prince – became the best of friends.

Mrs Massy-Birch said: ‘Carly will be really upset that this has come out. She went out with William for six or seven weeks when they first arrived at St Andrews. But there’s absolutely no fall-out between her and Kate.’

The Massy-Birches, who ran a farm and camping park near Axminster, Devon, kept their actress daughter’s relationship with the Prince a closely guarded secret.

Kate – played by Meg Bellamy – seen speaking to her future husband while walking through campus with her boyfriend Rupert Finch, played by Oli Green

Soon after the relationship ended, William was seen escorting Kate, then 26, to parties. According to one account, Massy-Birch felt a simmering resentment.

She was based in London and at the time of dating William had appeared in a few plays, including some on Radio 4.

While it is believed that Massy-Birch is now married herself, mystery surrounds her, and whether she remains in touch with the royals.

The series also depicts Kate Middleton dating Rupert Finch, who is now married to Marquess of Reading, Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs. 

Kate Middleton narrowly missed meeting Prince William on their gap year in Chile. Verdict: True. 

The Princess of Wales pictured on a Raleigh International Expedition to Patagonia, Chile, where she missed her future husband by a matter of days

Prince William seen during his Raleigh International Expedition in southern Chile during his gap year in 2000

During her first meeting with Prince William in the library, The Crown’s Kate Middleton confesses that she travelled to Chile on her gap year – missing her future husband by a matter of days. 

Discussing how close they live in halls, Kate tells William: ‘I only know its your room below because they swept us for bugs.

‘I told them if they were worried I was out to get you, I could have just done that in Chile. On the gap year Raleigh international expedition.’

Kate then tells William: ‘We missed each other by a week.’

At the end of 2000, Prince William travelled out to Chile – where he helped build local infrastructure – with Raleigh International Expedition.

The following month, Kate then completed the same excursion before moving to Florence with friends for three months.

At the time, it was rumoured Prince William would visit the Tuscan capital for a similar pre-university art course – but never materialised.

Elsewhere in the episode, Kate laments about her mother Carole having her heart set on her dating William.

After her boyfriend Rupert left the family home, The Crown’s Kate Middleton tells her mother: ‘Was it a coincidence you encouraged me to sign up for the art course in Florence where William was expected to go – and then to the expedition in Chile as well – were he went.’

‘I thought you’d thank me,’ the dramatised Carole says. ‘You said you liked him.’ 

Kate’s mother then says she thinks her daughter is ‘special’ and that ‘poor’ William ‘needs a nice, normal girl’. 

Prince Harry sent to treatment centre after being found smoking weed. Verdict: True.

Prince Harry and Prince. William seen arriving at the Queen’s Golden Jubilee concert in June 2002

At the end of the episode, Prince Harry and Prince William have a heart-to-heart over a beer – where the Duke of Sussex urges his brother not to quit university.

During the brotherly chat, Harry reveals that Charles discovered he had been smoking weed and had signed him up to visit a rehabilitation centre. 

The Crown’s Prince Harry said: ‘Bit of an over reaction, I said. Remorse and responsibility he said. 

‘It will be in all the papers and they’ll make me look like a lost cause. Again. And people will say, “poor boy, ever since his mother died…” 

‘But I guess its all working out perfectly because there’s no need for a number two in this family – except as entertainment. I cant be normal or a success can I?’ 

King Charles was said to be concerned after his youngest son admitted to smoking cannabis and drinking alcohol at private parties in Highgrove.

It is reported that Harry was taken to the centre, called Featherstone Lodge, for the day to give him a ‘short, sharp shock’.

After the reports emerged, a spokesman for St James’s Palace told the News of the World: ‘This is a serious matter which was resolved within the family, and is now in the past and closed.’

Episode Eight: Ritz 

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret sneak out of Buckingham Palace to celebrate end of WWII. Verdict: True. 

Prime Minister Winston Churchill, center, joins the Royal family, from left, Princess Elizabeth, Queen Elizabeth, King George VI, and Princess Margaret, on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to celebrate VE Day

The eighth episode of The Crown opens with flashbacks of Elizabeth and Margaret celebrating the end of WWII in London and ending up at The Ritz.

On the 70th anniversary of VE Day in 2015, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret were granted permission by the King to go and join the VE Day celebrations.

Margaret, Elizabeth and their cousin slipped through the Buckingham Palace gates at 9pm along with the future Queen’s lady-in-waiting Jean Woodroffe – who was 22 at the time.

The group also included Lord Porchester, later to become the Queen’s racing manager, and Peter Townsend, the king’s equerry who caused a national crisis a decade later when, as a divorcé, he won the heart of Princess Margaret.

Reflecting on their evening out, Margaret said she ‘loved the freedom’ of ‘being an ordinary person’ – if only for a few hours.

In 1985, The Queen – who passed away at the age of 96 on 8 September 2022 – gave a rare interview about her VE Day experience.

Speaking to the BBC on the 40th anniversary of the historic occasion, the Queen said: ‘I think it was one of the most memorable nights of my life.

‘We were terrified of being recognised, so I pulled my uniform cap well down over my eyes.’

Princess Margaret suffers first stroke in Mustique in 2001. Verdict: False 

Princess Margaret seen leaving hospital in 2000 – after suffering a series of strokes and scalding her feet

Netflix has released a photo showing Princess Margaret – played by Lesley Manville – looking particularly frail as she sits in an empty hospital room

Later in the episode, viewers are shown Princess Margaret suffering her first stroke in her holiday home in Mustique. 

While entertaining guests, the Queen’s sister drops a martini glass and is helped away from the pool by her staff. 

Afterwards, she calls the Queen to inform her that she’s had a ‘teeny tiny stroke’.

Having recovered from this, Princess Margaret then scalds her feet after suffering another stroke in the bath tub.

Although both events did happen, viewers are led to believe that Princess Margaret’s first stroke took place after 2001 – as the previous episode shows Prince William’s first term at university.

However, Princess Margaret’s first stroke was actually in February 1998. The following year, she scalded her feet and was restricted to using a wheelchair.

During the episode, Princess Margaret suffers another stroke after her 70th birthday celebrations at The Ritz. Although this has never been reported on, the Royal Family’s website notes that she suffered several strokes between 2000 and 2001. 

Porchy dies after Princess Margaret’s hospital stay. Verdict: True. 

Pictured: the Queen with her dear friend Earl Carnarvon, whose nickname was ‘Porchy’, at the Epsom Derby

After returning home from one of her hospital stays, Princess Margaret is listening to the radio as the tragic events of 9/11 unfold in New York.

Later, the royal’s lady-in-waiting informs her that her sister’s dear friend Porchy – Lord Canaervan – has died of a heart attack.

The scene then cuts to Margaret telling the Queen at her bedside: ‘Poor you, he was such a special friend. He was devoted to you.’ 

Although some viewers may have questioned if Porchy’s passing was used as a dramatic device here,  Lord Canaervan did suffer a heart attack on 11 September 2001 at Highclere Castle.

Days after the devastating terrorist attack, the Queen issued a heartfelt statement – which some royal watchers have speculated hinted at her personal grief over losing her dear friend. 

It read: ‘Nothing that can be said can begin to take away the anguish and the pain of these moments. Grief is the price we pay for love.’

Princess Elisabeth dances jitterbug with American servicemen at The Ritz. Verdict: False.

The royal sisters have been recast for the fourth time in the show’s four-year history – with Viola Prettejohn, 18, stepping into the role of the late Queen while Beau Gadsdon, 14, takes on Princess Margaret

In one of the final flashbacks, the Queen – who was 19 years old at the time – is seen dancing the jitterbug with a group of black American servicemen at the Ritz.

A previous flashback had shown a British serviceman telling the Queen and Margaret not to join the dancing – as the jitterbug was ‘banned’ in the UK.

The jitterbug – which often involved women being picked up by their partners – had been banned in Covent Garden in 1943 as dancers complained of being hit by women’s flying heels.

The Daily Mail spoke to American soldiers at the time, who insisted there was no harm in the dancing.

However, the US Army headquarters said: ‘[The jitterbug] is mass hysteria.’ 

Speaking to Channel 4 on the 40th anniversary of VE Day, the Queen’s cousin Margaret Rhodes revealed that the group did go dancing in The Ritz – but made no mention of the jitterbug.

She said: ‘For some reason, we decided to go in the front door of the Ritz and do the conga. The Ritz was so stuffy and formal – we rather electrified the stuffy individuals inside.

‘I don’t think people realised who was among the party – I think they thought it was just a group of drunk young people. I remember old ladies looking faintly shocked. As one congaed through, eyebrows were raised.’ 

The only other mention of the Queen dancing on VE day is with Ronald Thomas, who she met in Trafalgar Square.

When he asked her if she was the princess she first denied it, then admitted she was, begging Ronald not to tell anyone. For years no one believed him, but when 2015’s A Royal Night Out  came out, everyone did. 

Episode Nine: Hope Street 

Mohamed Al-Fayed calls Royal Family ‘gangsters’ and ‘terrorists’ in 2002. Verdict: False.

Mohamed Al-Fayed seen giving an interview to NBC in New York in 1998 where he claimed his son and Diana were murdered

The ninth episode of The Crown opens with Mohamed Al-Fayed giving several interviews about his son’s death four years after the accident.

The Crown shows the devastated father claiming that Dodi and Diana were ‘murdered’ in a TV interview.

He then goes on to label the Royal Family ‘gangsters’ and ‘terrorists’ and sensationally claim that Diana was pregnant with Dodi’s child at the time of her death.

The scene then jumps to Prince William listening to the news on the radio as he prepares to go for a run in his second term at St Andrews University in 2002.

Although Mohamed did make these claims about the Royal Family, The Crown have altered the chronology for dramatic effect.

The billionaire businessman – who passed away at the age of 94 in August – famously called the Royals ‘gangsters in tiaras’ in the 2011 conspiracy theory film Unlawful Killing.

Promotional image also show Mohamed Al-Fayed – played by Salim Dau – looking solemn as he appears on TV claiming his son and Diana were murdered

When arriving at the 2007 inquest into Diana and Dodi’s death, Al-Fayed also said the royals are not above the law and labelled MI6 ‘terrorists’.

The coroner’s inquest found that Diana and Dodi were the victims of ‘gross negligence’ of the driver Henri Paul, who was over the legal drinking limit, and the paparazzi. 

Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry seen enjoying a holiday to Scilly in 1989

Later in the episode, Prince Charles is interviewed by police at High Grove about Princess Diana’s death. 

The meeting takes place not long after the Queen Mother’s death, which happened in March 2002.

During the interview, Charles was told that Diana’s butler Paul Burrell found a letter from the late royal claiming that Charles was plotting a brake failure in her car to remove any obstacles to his new marriage.

Following this, police directly ask Charles if he ever contributed to any plans to assassinate his ex-wife.

The Crown’s Prince Charles responds: ‘Of course not.’ 

What’s more, Prince William is seen overhearing the conversation after lingering in the doorway at High Grove. 

Prince Charles was interviewed by police about Princess Diana’s death in 2005 (pictured on his wedding day that April)

Although King Charles was interviewed by police, this did not happen until December 2005. 

Lord Stevens, a former head of Scotland Yard, says he had to ‘follow the evidence’ and question the prince over a note his ex-wife wrote claiming he was planning an accident in her car.

The unprecedented interview was conducted amid enormous secrecy at St James’s Palace during a three-year investigation into Diana’s death in a Paris car crash in 1997.

A crucial part of the probe was the note the princess had written predicting she would die through ‘brake failure and serious head injury’ so Charles could marry his sons’ former nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke. 

In the note Diana added: ‘Camilla is nothing but a decoy so we are being used by the man in every sense of the word.’

During the interview, Charles was told that Diana’s butler Paul Burrell found a letter from the late royal claiming that Charles was plotting a brake failure in her car to remove any obstacles to his new marriage. Diana with Burrell in August 1997

Lord Stevens confirmed in 2019 that he had he read out her incendiary words, which would later fuel conspiracy theories about her death, at his meeting with Charles on December 6, 2005. 

At the time, he says, he and his team of detectives had no idea what had made Diana so concerned about her safety.

Charles, who was interviewed by Lord Stevens as a witness and not a suspect, could not explain why his ex-wife had penned the note in October 1995 and left it in the pantry of Kensington Palace for her butler Paul Burrell.

Nearly two years after it was written 36-year-old Diana, her boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed and their chauffeur Henri Paul were all killed when their Mercedes crashed in a tunnel in Paris.

Lord Stevens suggested that rogue ex-BBC journalist Martin Bashir, who allegedly used bogus papers to con the princess into granting him a scoop BBC Panorama interview in November 1995, may have exploited her vulnerability and made her paranoid about her security around the time she wrote the note. 

On top of this, Prince William couldn’t have been present for the police interview as he was in first week of work experience at an RAF Mountain Rescue Team in North Wales. 

Speaking in his second week at the camp, William – who had left St Andrews by then – said: ‘I have really enjoyed my time so far with The Royal Air Force at RAF Valley. My familiarisation with their pilot training activities, the unsung heroes of the search and rescue helicopter crews, and my experience with the Mountain Rescue Team have left me in awe of their dedication and sheer professionalism.’ 

Carole Middleton encourages Kate to go after Prince William. Verdict: True.

Kate and Carole Middleton pictured outside the Goring Hotel in London the night before her wedding to Prince William in 2011

Later in the episode, The Crown’s Kate is seen calling her mother to tell her that Prince William was going to be attending the fashion show she is participating in.

Carole then tells her: ‘Better make sure you don’t fall over then. 

‘[Wear] heels not flats. You still want to show off those legs! It’s our duty to make use of the assets god has given us.’ 

Kate jokes that her mother is ‘worse than Mrs Bennett’, in reference to Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice character who is obsessed with marrying off her daughters in socially advantageous matches.

In 2007, it was reported that Carole had acquired a reputation for being pushy and manoeuvred her daughter into William’s orbit before trying to engineer a match.

In her 2022 book The Palace Papers, Tina Brown writes: ‘It is unlikely Kate would be where she is today without her mother’s canny help in negotiating a royal romance.’ 

The Princess of Wales’ former school tutors revealed to royal correspondent Katie Nicholl that her first choice of university had been Edinburgh – before also deciding to take a gap year and attend St Andrews. 

Royal correspondent Matthew Bell wrote in The Spectator in 2005: ‘Some insiders wonder whether her university meeting with Prince William can really be ascribed to coincidence.

‘Although at the time of making her application to universities it was unknown where the Prince was intending to go, it has been suggested that her mother persuaded Kate to reject her first choice on hearing the news and take up her offer at St. Andrews instead.’ 

The actress – who is best known for House of Dragon and Maryland – is seen with shoulder-length blonde hair as she plays The Crown’s Carole Middleton

Pictured: the Prince and Princess of Wales pose with their extended family and wedding party on their wedding day in April 2011

Kate: The Future Queen, by former Mail on Sunday Royal Editor Katie Nicholl, also claims Carole Middleton held a secret summit with William to ask whether he planned to propose to her daughter in 2009.

A friend said: ‘She put some pressure on William to let the family know where it was all leading.

William reassured her the relationship was very much on track and that there would be an engagement soon. Carole trusted William and put her faith in him.’

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s first kiss is interrupted by Queen Mother’s death. Verdict: False.

Kate Middleton famously caught Prince William’s attention in this see-through dress while taking part in a fashion show at St Andrews

The Netflix series shows Kate and William’s first kiss being interrupted by the death of the Queen Mother. In reality, these events took place four days apart

After being encouraged by her mother, the scene then jumps to Kate picking out a dress for the fashion show – hinting that she had selected her infamous see-through outfit herself.

As she approaches the end of the catwalk, The Crown’s Kate does a twirl and locks eyes with Prince William – who is sitting in the audience. 

Later, the pair are seen sitting at the bar – where Kate cracks a joke about Prince William’s bodyguard always being present.

She then tells the royal that she wanted to do ‘something drastic’ to see if William was interested – to which he replies: ‘Of course, I’m interested.’ 

He adds: ‘I’ve always been interested – bordering on obsessed. To the point where I thought if I couldn’t be with you , I’d sooner not be here at all.’

The pair then lean in for their first kiss, which is interrupted by William’s bodyguard – informing him of ‘Operation Taybridge’, which is code for the Queen Mother’s death.

However in real life, Kate’s fashion show took place on 26 March 2002 while the Queen Mother passed away four days later on the 30th.

William and Kate move in together in second year. Verdict: True.

The final scenes of the episode involve William asking Kate if she would be interested in living with him in their second year of university.  

Pictured: the townhouse on Hope Street in St Andrews where Prince William and Kate Middleton lived in second year

The Crown filmed scenes on the exact street where William and Kate lived in 2002. Pictured: Meg Bellamy and Ed McVey in character

During a phone call after the Golden Jubilee, the Prince of Wales tells his future wife of his plans to live with Fergus and another friend – but revealed they had an empty room to fill.

He then tells her that living with a girl could keep the house ‘civilised’ and asked if she would consider it.

The episode ends with Kate and William having dinner with friends in their new home and the Prince receiving a framed photo of the Queen and Prince Philip during the early days of their marriage from his grandmother.

The episode is titled ‘Hope Street’ after the road where Kate and William lived in their second year. The Crown episodes were actually filmed on Hope Street.

The couple lived in the modest terraced property with Fergus Boyd and Olivia Bleasdale.

Speaking to the Mail on Sunday in 2013, their university landlord Charlotte Smith revealed she’d waived her ‘no boys’ rule to allow Prince William live in the property. 

She also revealed that William, whom she described as a ‘very friendly, very charming … thoroughly nice man’, did not try to negotiate on the ‘very reasonably priced’ rent.

She added: ‘We arranged to meet Kate Middleton, Fergus and Olivia before they moved in but we thought we’d better not ask to see Prince William because we thought his credit rating must be quite good. But he insisted on meeting us.’

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