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The Crown: What was the Tampongate scandal?

Tampongate refers to a scandal between lovers Charles and Camilla  (PA)
Tampongate refers to a scandal between lovers Charles and Camilla (PA)

The Crown’s fifth season is almost here and among the events episodes will cover is the Tampongate scandal.

The infamous event saw the now-King Charles III and his Queen Consort, Camilla, get caught having what some would call “phone sex”.

The phone call in question happened back in 1989 and was recorded by a radio enthusiast who stumbled upon the exchange while using a scanning device.

At the time, both King Charles III and Camilla were married to other people, despite being intimate with each other.

The recorder in question kept it to themselves for years, before giving a full transcript of the call to the press three months after Charles and Princess Diana formally separated in 1993.

The six-minute lustful call included the then-Prince of Wales talking about being reincarnated as Camilla’s tampon, which inspired the name of the scandal.

The pair’s phone call was leaked to the press in 1993 (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)
The pair’s phone call was leaked to the press in 1993 (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA)

What did Charles and Camilla say during the phone call?

There is a full transcript available online that details every second of the six-minute call.

The sections that received the most attention were the revealing parts, especially the conversation that led to the mention of tampons.

The exchange is centred around the pair’s longing for each other, with Charles and Camilla detailing what they would like to get up to together.

As the conversation continues, Charles talks about how he needs Camilla “several times a week”, with Camilla replying: “So do I. I need you all the week. All the time.”

To that, King Charles III replies: “Oh, God. I’ll just live inside your trousers or something. It would be much easier!”

After Camilla laughs, jokingly asking if he wanted to reincarnate as a pair of underwear, Charles exclaims: “Or, God forbid, a Tampax. Just my luck!”

It was this very line that inspired the infamous name of the scandal, Tampongate.

The upcoming series of The Crown will see Olivia Williams  portray Camilla and Dominic West play Prince Charles (Netflix/PA)
The upcoming series of The Crown will see Olivia Williams portray Camilla and Dominic West play Prince Charles (Netflix/PA)

Will The Crown include Tampongate?

The Crown’s producers have confirmed that Tampongate will be included in the fifth season.

Talking about the scandal, Dominic West, who portrays Charles, explained:​​ “In the playing of it, because Olivia Williams is so magnificent, and because I have such a deep sense of sympathy with Charles, it’s much simpler than we thought at the time, or that the papers made out or that the history around it made out.

“It just strikes you as being a horrible breach of privacy that no one should have to suffer.

“If any one of us had our intimate phone conversations reproduced verbatim in every newspaper in the world, imagine what that’s like. Imagine how awful that is.

“My memory of it is that it was sort of filthy and dirty and really embarrassing but actually, in the playing of it, it was much more like two middle-aged lovers being sweet to each other.”

The Crown’s fifth season will be released on Netflix on November 9.