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Did Prince Charles really almost die in an avalanche?

The 1988 voyage of Prince Charles during which Hugh Lindsay lost his life was shown in episode 9 of season 4 of The Crown released on November 15.

Season 4 of The Crown was released on November 15 on Netflix. This season is dedicated to the 1980s with the arrival of Margaret Thatcher but also Lady Diana Spencer. Thus, to make the season as realistic as possible, the writers chose to include Lady Di’s health problems but also the accident in which Major Hugh Lindsay lost his life.

Prince Charles was present at the time, but did he really almost die in that avalanche? The facts date back to March 1988 when Charles and Diana decided to go to the mountains for a week. They were accompanied by Hugh Lindsay, Charles Palmer-Tomkinson, a former Olympic skier and close friend of Prince Charles and his wife Patti, and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York and former wife of Prince Andrew. Only Prince Charles, Bruno Sprecher a mountain guide, Major Hugh Lindsay, a Swiss policeman and Patti Palmer-Tomkinson were present on the excursion.

According to Buckingham Palace’s account at the time, an avalanche started just below where the group was. Most of them managed to get away very quickly, but that was not the case for Hugh Lindsay and Patti Palmer-Tomkinson who were swept away. Prince Charles and the other members stood at a distance, patiently waiting for danger to pass and rescue their friends.

“Prince Charles, the guide and the policeman ran to help the victims, digging with their bare hands in the snow to reach them,” said the Buckingham Palace account. A witness told the BBC at the time that Prince Charles looked “very distressed. Someone said he was crying, but he walked to the helicopter and didn’t look injured. While the Prince of Wales was miraculously able to recover physically, one can imagine that he suffered psychological after-effects for several years.

A sequence that should have been avoided

If The Crown tried to get as close to reality as possible, this sequence should never have seen the light of day, according to Hugh Lindsay’s widow. Interviewed by The Sunday Telegraph on November 24th, Sarah Horsley revealed that she asked the writers not to include this scene in the season. “I wrote to them and asked them not to do it, not to use the accident.

I guess the royal family has to smile and put up with it, but for me it’s a very private tragedy,” she said. However, the writers refused and Hugh Lindsay’s widow confessed she was “horrified” that the creators of the series had adapted her husband’s death to the screen.

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