Princess Diana and Prince Charles' first overseas trip help launch the new princess into international stardom — and prompted Prince Charles' jealousy over his wife's popularity.
Season four of The Crown, now streaming on Netflix, tackles the couple's 1983 tour of Australia in the episode "Terra Nullius" — and the importance of keeping the country in the Commonwealth.
Tensions between Diana (played by Emma Corrin) and Charles (Josh O'Connor) began before the plane even touched down, according to the royal drama. Prince William, then just 9 months old, became the first royal baby to accompany his parents on a royal tour (a tradition since followed by William and Kate Middleton as well as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with their own children.) In the show, it was Princess Diana who insisted they bring their son along — "no baby, no me."
The move to travel with their son warmed the hearts of Australians. "Bringing William was what made it really different. There was a huge amount made of Diana being a breath of fresh air and [so] modern. It was enormous," said Jane Connors, author of Royal Visits to Australia.
Early in the arduous six-week tour, Princess Diana — already battling bulimia — was portrayed in The Crown as weak from the Australian heat and jet lag. During a scene at Uluru, she leaves Charles to climb Ayers Rock without her after saying she felt "dizzy." However, she bounces back as the tour continues, dazzling all who see and meet her.
At first, the Prince of Wales is pleased by his wife's efforts and approval by the large crowds who came to see them — but it's not long before he begins to feel like second fiddle.
During a speech, Prince Charles talks about how "lucky" he is to have Diana as a wife, only for Princess Diana to make a face and draw laughs from the crowd. "That's the thing about ladies: you never quite know what they get up to when your back's turned," he remarks.
The Crown shows the couple getting into a fight over Charles' embarrassment.
"This was supposed to be my tour! My tour as Prince of Wales to shore up a key country in the Commonwealth at a very delicate moment politically," O'Connor’s Charles erupts at Corrin's Diana. "Thanks to you, people are laughing in my face."
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The real-life Princess Diana spoke about upstaging her husband and his jealousy during her famous 1995 interview with BBC1's Panorama.
"We'd be going 'round Australia, for instance, and all you could hear was, 'Oh, she's on the other side.' Now, if you're a man — like my husband — a proud man, you mind about that if you hear it every day for four weeks. You feel low about it, instead of feeling happy and sharing it," she said.
Host Martin Bashir clarified that the public was expressing a "preference" for Diana over her husband.
"Yes, which I felt very uncomfortable with, and I felt it was unfair because I wanted to share," she said.
Diana added, "With the media attention came a lot of jealousy. A great deal of complicated situations arose because of that."
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