‘The Crown’ Season Five Will Put a Surprising Twist on Tampongate
Netflix’s The Crown is already promising plenty of drama in its fifth season, premiering on November 9. With a focus on the breakdown of the relationship between Charles and Diana, including the infamous Panorama interview. This has led to several royals and well-known British actors calling for it to be made clear that it’s fictional.
This has now been done – but this doesn’t mean the show will be avoiding controversial moments, even if they involve the current king. One such moment is Tampongate. Here’s a look at what happened in this bizarre moment of British royal history – and the surprising treatment it will receive in the show.
What is the True Story of Tampongate?
Three months after Charles and Princess Diana had officially separated in 1993, a full transcript of a telephone call between Charles and Camilla was printed in the press. Taking place in 1989, when Charles and Diana were still very much married, the full audio recording was also leaked, including incredibly private details from a conversation between the secret couple.
During the six-minute call, the lovers, both married to other people at the time, discussed being intimate with each other. What really captured people’s attention, however, were comments from Charles about being reincarnated as Camilla’s tampon.
The full transcript of Charles and Camilla’s conversation has been published online but the best (or worst, depending on where you stand) bits include:
Charles: Oh stop! I want to feel my way along you, all over you and up and down you and in and out…
Charles: Particularly in and out.
Camilla: Oh, that’s just what I need at the moment.
Charles: Is it?
Charles: What about me? The trouble is I need you several times a week.
Camilla: Mmmm, so do I. I need you all the week. All the time.
Charles: Oh, God. I’ll just live inside your trousers or something. It would be much easier!
Camilla: (Laughing) What are you going to turn into, a pair of knickers? (Both laugh). Oh, you’re going to come back as a pair of knickers.
Charles: Or, God forbid, a Tampax. Just my luck! (Laughs)
Camilla: You are a complete idiot! (Laughs) Oh, what a wonderful idea.
Charles: My luck to be chucked down the lavatory and go on and on forever swirling round on the top, never going down.
Camilla: (Laughing) Oh, Darling!
Charles: Until the next one comes through.
Camilla: Oh, perhaps you could come back as a box.
Charles: What sort of box?
Camilla: A box of Tampax, so you could just keep going.
Charles: That’s true.
Camilla: Repeating yourself…(Laughing) Oh, darling I just want you now.
Charles: Do you?
Charles: So do I!
Camilla: Desperately, desperately.
The conversation made huge waves in British and international press, with some taking the transcript and twisting it as though the then-Prince had some sort of tampon fetish. As with many interactions between the press and the royal family in the ’90s, there seemed to be no expectation of any sort of privacy for the royals.
Will Tampongate be in ‘The Crown’ Season 5?
There are plenty of moments that will make you Google ‘did that really happen’ – and a lot of the time, the show is more dramatic than the real-life events. In this case, however, it seems that the writers were kinder to Prince Charles tha press outlets at the time.
In the upcoming Season 5, there’s a scene in which Claudia Harrison, as Princess Anne, talks to Dominic West’s Prince Charles about the recording, saying that “no one deserves” the humiliation he’s going through. She also describes the transcript as merely showing “two teenagers of a certain age being so gloriously human and entirely in love”.
Speaking to The Independent, Harrison said: “The truth of that recording, I think the British public will be surprised by, because at the time it was portrayed as a thing that it wasn’t.
“And the even-handedness of The Crown is to examine it, and show the sense of humour, The Goon Show connection Charles had with Camilla. It was a great scene to play.”
It seems that the show, as with much of the royal drama in its first four seasons will focus less on Tampongate itself, and more on how the event affected the very real people within the royal family.
(featured image: Netflix)
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