Camilla Praises 'The Crown' Despite Furore Over Prince Charles Affair Plot

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall praised the actress who played her in Netflix's The Crown on Tuesday at a Clarence House reception for International Women's Day.

Emerald Fennell, who played Camilla Parker Bowles in seasons three and four of the hit show, was among 90 outstanding women invited to Clarence House, the London home of Prince Charles and Camilla.

During her speech, Camilla paid tribute to her fictional counterpart with a joke: "It is reassuring to know that, if I should fall off my perch at any moment, my fictional alter ego is here to take over. So, Emerald, be prepared!"

The nod to her own portrayal in The Crown generated laughter from the group of assembled women that included Spice Girl, Mel B and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Angela Rayner.

The comment comes after increasing criticism of the Netflix series, which follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II and her family, following the release of season four in 2020.

The depiction of Princess Diana as well as the negative portrayal of Charles caused media outrage and brought about widespread debate as to whether the streaming platform had a duty to inform viewers of any factual inaccuracies.

The then-secretary for digital, media, culture and sport Oliver Dowden told the Mail on Sunday at the time of the season's release: "It's a beautifully produced work of fiction, so as with other TV productions, Netflix should be very clear at the beginning it is just that…Without this, I fear a generation of viewers who did not live through these events may mistake fiction for fact."

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The portrayal of the Prince of Wales and the breakdown of his marriage to Diana caused a wave of social media criticism aimed at the prince, sparking polls as to whether he would be a good future monarch. Camilla's endorsement of the actress who played her, however, shows that she holds no hard feelings towards her portrayal as the third person in the breakdown of the Wales' marriage shown on screen.

Prince Harry has expressed more explicitly his views on the series. He told James Corden in a 2021 interview that he was not among those who are critical of the show.

"They don't pretend to be news, it's fictional, but it's loosely based on the truth," Harry said. "Of course it's not strictly accurate, but loosely, it gives you a rough idea about what that lifestyle, what the pressures of putting duty and service above family and everything else, what can come from that."

The penultimate series of The Crown is scheduled for release later this year with the main story arc for the season expected to be the tragic death of Diana in a 1997 Paris car crash and the immediate effect it had on the royal family and the monarchy.

The royals are braced for another wave of criticism following the release at it is due to come around the same time as the publication of Prince Harry's much anticipated memoir.

In response to calls for Netflix to add a disclaimer to the series, the streaming giant told the Mail on Sunday: "We have always presented The Crown as a drama, and we have every confidence our members understand it's a work of fiction that's broadly based on historical events. As a result, we have no plans—and see no need—to add a disclaimer."

Camilla and Emerald Fennell Crop
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, left, and Emerald Fennell, right, who plays Camilla in seasons three and four of Netflix drama, "The Crown," are pictured at a reception for International Women's Day at Clarence House in London on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. Arthur Edwards/POOL/AFP via Getty Images