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The Crown’s Claudia Harrison says the British public will be ‘surprised by’ the ‘truth’ of tampongate

Leaked phone call ‘was portrayed as a thing that it wasn’t’, says actor Claudia Harrison

Ellie Harrison
Thursday 10 November 2022 05:41 GMT
The Crown Season 5 trailer

The Crown star Claudia Harrison, who plays Princess Anne in the forthcoming fifth season of the Netflix drama, has said she believes the British public will be “surprised by” the “truth” of tampongate.

The tampongate scandal refers to a 1989 phone call that was leaked to the press between the then-Prince Charles and his mistress at the time, Camilla Parker Bowles (now the Queen Consort).

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A transcript of the six-minute phone call was printed in The People in 1993, after Prince Charles and Princess Diana split, under the headline: “Charles and Camilla – the tape.”

In the new series of The Crown, there’s a scene in which Harrison, as Princess Anne, talks to Dominic West’s Prince Charles about the recording. She tells him “no one deserves” the humiliation he’s going through, and says that when she got over the “gyneaological” aspect of the transcript, she saw “two teenagers of a certain age being so gloriously human and entirely in love”.

Speaking to The Independent, Harrison, 46, 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,” she added.

Charles and Camilla have called each other by the nicknames Fred and Gladys for years, after characters in the Fifties radio comedy The Goon Show.

Harrison added: “[Tampongate] happened in the distant past, I was a teenager when that came out and it was spun in a certain way.”

Claudia Harrison in ‘The Crown’, Charles and Camilla (Netflix, Getty)

She said that, when she was playing Princess Anne (the younger sister of Charles) in the scene, “it felt right” that she would be telling Charles that she “is sharing the load of what it must be like to live in this family”.

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In an interview last week, Prince Charles actor West said his research into tampongate showed him “how badly Camilla was treated” at the time.

The transcript of the call revealed that Charles told Camilla he wished he could be reincarnated as a tampon so that he could live inside her.

The Crown season five is out on Netflix on 9 November. Read The Independent’s two-star review here.

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