The Crown's Josh O'Connor as Charles, Emma Corrin as Diana, Emerald Fennell as Camilla

The Crown season 4: Did Camilla and Diana really meet for lunch?

Love triangle is playing out between Charles, Diana and Camilla on Netflix

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The Crown season 4 has landed on Netflix – and the latest instalment involving Charles, Camilla and Diana has viewers transfixed especially a lunch between the two women.

Fans have waited eagerly to see how the love triangle in the royal soap opera will play out on screen.

And one set-up in episode three of the fourth season has had viewers particularly captivated.

It dramatises a meeting between a newly-engaged Diana and Camilla as they meet for a very tense lunch.

But did this encounter happen in real life? Here’s what you need to know about this meeting between Camilla and Diana…

Josh O'Connor as Charles and Emma Corrin as Diana
Josh O’Connor plays Charles and Emma Corrin stars as Diana in The Crown season 4 (Credit: Netflix)

Why did Camilla and Diana meet?

In The Crown, Charles goes on a royal tour of New Zealand shortly after becoming engaged to Diana. Stuck at Buckingham Palace while he was away, Diana receives a note from Camilla suggesting lunch so that she can ‘see the engagement ring’.

Royal biographers have suggested this date made Diana suspicious about Camilla’s past with Charles. And it seems Diana may not have been aware of their past beforehand.

Author Penny Junor wrote: “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.”

Camilla and Diana meet for lunch in The Crown
Camilla Paker Bowles is portrayed by Emerald Fennell in The Crown Season 4 (Credit: Netflix.)

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Where did they meet?

Diana and Camilla had their awkward rendezvous at London restaurant Menage A Trois, which is now closed. The name of the eaterie’s name – loosely translated as ‘threesome’, where one spouse has a lover.

What happened?

In The Crown, Camilla marks her territory against her rival, even though Charles is now off limits.

She also indicate to Diana that she has been in contact with Charles while he is away in New Zealand.

Diana, however, is unable to reach her fiance to speak to him.

Camilla also makes it clear she has intimate knowledge of Diana’s husband-to-be. In a toe-curling exchange, Diana grows suspicious after Camilla presses a point about hunting.

She enquires whether Diana will hunt when she moves to Highgrove. And Camilla also hints the estate is a place where she has enjoyed the company of Charles.

PM Thatcher walks into No 10 in The Crown
The Crown season 4 sweeps into the 1980s, with Gillian Anderson playing PM Thatcher (Credit: Netflix)

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Were Diana and Camilla ever friends?

Pictures exist of Diana and Camilla together in reality. They both attended a horse race at Ludlow Racecourse in 1980 in which Charles competed. Camilla even attended their 1981 royal wedding.

However, by 1989, any possible friendship was long over.

Biographer Andrew Morton wrote of a confrontation between them, explaining Diana said: ‘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.'”

Morton continued: “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”‘.”

What does the scene mean to The Crown star Emma Corrin?

Emma Corrin landed the role of Diana after auditioning this particular scene with actress Emerald Fennell (Camilla).

Emma recalls to refinery29: “That was how [Emerald and I] met, reading that scene.

“[Showrunner] Peter [Morgan] had already written that scene in 2018, and that’s the scene we read together, which is so funny in retrospect.”

She reflected: “It’s an awful scene. I just wanted to die every time I read that script. Poor Diana.”

The Crown season 4 is available to stream on Netflix.

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