Was Prince Charles almost killed by an avalanche? The Crown fact-checked

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The Crown on Netflix comes from the playwright, Peter Morgan. The fourth series mainly focuses on the marriage and subsequent breakdown of Prince Charles (played by Josh O’Connor) and Princess Diana (Emma Corrin). In episode nine, titled Avalanche, it is suggested Prince Charles was inches from death. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.

Was Prince Charles almost killed by an avalanche?

In March 1988, Prince Charles and Prince Diana were enjoying one of their regular skiing holidays with friends.

They were holidaying at Klosters, an exclusive Ski resort in the Swiss Alps.

On March 10, 1988, Princes Charles, mountain guide, Bruno Sprecher and friends Major Hugh Lindsay and Swiss police officer Patti Palmer-Tomkinson were skiing on Gotschnagrat Mountain, when an avalanche hit.

According to the account published by Buckingham Palace, Charles and Bruno were able to to take cover, but sadly, Hugh and Patti were caught in the avalanche at approximately 2.45 pm.

READ MORE Charles and Diana’s bond ‘strengthened after skiing tragedy’ 

At the time, The Times headline read: “Prince Charles ‘feet from death'” and The Guardian ran the headline “Prince in fatal ski incident.”

Charles and Bruno escaped uninjured, but sadly, Hugh was thrown 400 metres by the impact, reports Harpers Bazaar.

Reports at the time describe Charles and Bruno trying to dig the snow with their bare hands to find their friends.

Patti and Hugh were found unconscious in the snow and were airlifted to a hospital in Davos.

Sadly, Hugh was pronounced dead on arrival and Patti sustained serious leg injuries.

An eye-witness, Marie Griffiths, said at the time, according to BBC reports: “As far as I know he [Prince Charles] hadn’t been injured.

“He looked very distressed, somebody said he was crying, but he did walk to the helicopter so he looked uninjured.”

At the time of the avalanche, Diana was residing in the chalet alongside Sarah Ferguson. Both were unharmed in the incident.

Speaking in an interview with her biographer Andrew Morton, Diana reflected: “The whole thing was ghastly. And what a nice person he was.

“Out of all the people who went it should never have been him.”

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His funeral took place at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and was attended by the Queen, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of York.

At the beginning of episode nine in The Crown, it is suggested Charles may have died in the accident, with the royal family anxiously awaiting news.

It is unknown what actually happened behind palace walls as they waited for news on the heir to the throne.

The avalanche in The Crown is used as a catalyst for Diana and Charles to address their failing marriage, with Diana telling the Queen (Olivia Colman) and Prince Philip (Tobias Menzies) the thought of Charles dying made her want to make the marriage work.

Whether the avalanche incident had any impact on their marriage remains unknown.

The Telegraph reported Diana never returned to Klosters following the accident but Charles did visit the ski resort several times with his son, Prince William and Harry in the 1990s.

Who was Major Hugh Lindsay?

Major Hugh Charles Lyttelton Lindsay, LVO served as the Queen’s Equerry in the from 1983 until 1986.

He was a career soldier, serving in the 9th/12th Royal Lancers before becoming Equerry to the Queen.

Hugh served as the queens personal attendant for three years before returning to the army full-time in 1986.

He married 33-year-old Sarah Brennan in July 1987.

Sarah worked in the Buckingham press office. She was six months pregnant at the time of her husband’s death.

He was 34-years-old at the time of his death on March 10, 1988.

The Crown is streaming on Netflix now

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