British Royal Family

Did Princess Anne really resent Princess Diana? We separate fact from fiction in The Crown's explosive new narratives

True or false? We researched the answers.

By Jess Pullar
If you're anything like us, you'll be glued to The Crown's brand-new fourth season this month, and we can't blame you.
Giving fans a realistic depiction of the intriguing milestone events to occur to the royal family throughout the 1980s, there's plenty of drama to watch unfold as the new season's cast deliver us some seriously binge-worthy content.
But like always, we can't help but pick up our phones throughout each episode to determine if what we're witnessing on-screen actually happened in real life.
And 90 per cent of the time, it most definitely has.
Of course, it's important to remember that the show is exactly that - a show. So it's to be expected that some storylines have been exaggerated.
That said, we decided to decipher exactly which explosive plot lines from the new season are true, and which are, um, a slight stretch.
Keep scrolling to unravel The Crown season four's fact from fiction...

Did Prince Charles really date Princess Diana's older sister?

Season four delves into the whirlwind romance of Prince Charles and Princess Diana.
Understandably, it's a narrative the world has been waiting to watch unfold on the hit Netflix series, not least for the behind the scenes insight into the controversial dynamic.
In the new season, we see the relationship unfold from its very beginning - which gives us an idea of how the pair actually met.
Oh, and it's slightly unexpected.
Charles is originally seen courting Princess Diana's older sister, Lady Sarah Spencer. This relationship leads to his very fist meeting with Diana, who is curious, and somewhat infatuated by the Prince.
So did Charles really meet Diana by dating her older sister? Well, yes! Lady Sarah McCorquodale, dated Prince Charles for nine months in 1977. While their romance fizzed out, Lady Sarah claims she was the one to play matchmaker three years later.
Lady Sarah later joked to The Guardian: "I introduced them. I'm Cupid!"
Yes, Prince Charles did date Princess Diana's older sister. (Netflix)

What was the Queen's relationship with Margaret Thatcher really like?

The Crown season four brings the formidable Gillian Anderson as British PM Margaret Thatcher.
Her raw and realistic depiction of the controversial leader gives viewers a genuine insight into how Thatcher and The Queen really worked together - and it's, well, a little strained at times.
So what was The Queen and Margaret Thatcher's relationship really like? It is understood their relationship was turbulent at times, with the Queen having some anxieties about the country being so divided during the PM's reign.
The mining strike was just the beginning, with international issues such as South Africa's apartheid and its subsequent sanctions also dividing the two women's opinions.
In addition, Amazon Prime's documentary The Queen and her Prime Ministers also claims the pair's relationship was "awkward at times."
Gillian Anderson plays Margaret Thatcher in the new Netflix series. (Netflix)

Did Princess Anne and Princess Diana get along?

Princess Anne was one of the standout characters in season three of The Crown, and her character continues to bring her kick-arse attitude to season four.
In the new season, Anne and Diana's relationship is seen in greater detail for the first time, with Anne seemingly unenthused by the attention Diana was getting from press.
But what was Anne and Diana's relationship actually like? It seems there was a sense of rivalry felt by the Princess Royal when Diana came onto the scene.
In a 2002 documentary The Real Princess Anne, a renowned photographer for The Express, Steve Wood, claimed that Anne was "extremely annoyed when Diana became centre of stage and then Fergie became centre stage for a while."
"She said about them behind their backs several times – 'those girls,' the last phrase said sneeringly."
He continued: "She viewed them both as lessening the stature of the Royal Family," and that it brought, "too much tabloid for her."
Anne is unenthused by Diana's ability to get instant global attention in revealing scenes on The Crown. (Netflix)

How did Lord Mountbatten die?

Lord Mountbatten, affectionately known as "Dickie" by members of the royal family, was known for his extremely close relationship with Prince Charles.
The future King's great-uncle was a sounding board and confidant for the troubled royal, giving him advice on everything from his controversial relationship with Camilla Parker-Bowles to boosting his confidence and abilities as a Monarch.
So how did Dickie Mountbatten die? In a tragic turn of events, he was assassinated by the IRA (Irish Republican Army) by a bomb which was detonated while he went fishing with members of his family.
His 14-year-old grandson was among those who were also killed in the explosion.
Members of the royal family were shocked to hear of Dickie Mountbatten's death. (Netflix)

Who did Prince Andrew date when he was younger?

While it's common knowledge Prince Andrew had a long relationship and subsequent marriage to Sarah Ferguson, the red-headed royal and mother of his children wasn't the only person the controversial Prince dated in his youth.
In The Crown, his younger years play out before viewers, with reference to his love life fleetingly touched on.
One such suitor was an "American actress", which is presumably in reference to Kathleen Norris Stark (known as Koo Stark) who Prince Andrew dated in the early 1980s.
It is understood they shared a relationship for for several years between Andrew's service with the British army.
It's even been reported that Andrew took Koo on a family holiday with his family at royal hotspot Balmoral.
Prince Andrew and photographer and actress Kathleen Norris Stark dated in the early 1980s. (Getty)

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