'The Crown' Will Include Infamous Charles and Camilla Phone Conversation

Throughout its first four seasons, The Crown hasn't shied away from highlighting some of the more controversial moments within the British royal family – from the Queen's secret cousins to rumored affairs. Now, as the award-winning Netflix original series heads into its fifth season, The Crown isn't shying away from covering one of the royals' more scandalous moments from the '90s: Tampongate, then-Prince Charles' infamous 1989 phone call with Camilla Parker Bowles.

Tampongate went down in 1989 when what was supposed to be a private conversation between Charles and Camilla was secretly recorded. During the conversations, Charles said he wanted to "live inside" Camilla's trousers, but with his luck, he'd be reincarnated as her tampon. Not long after, British tabloids printed transcripts of the phone call, and while the scandal is something the royals would likely prefer to move away from, in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly ahead of the Nov. 9 premiere of The Crown Season 5, Dominic West confirmed Tampongate will be included in the upcoming season.

"I remember thinking it was something so sordid and deeply, deeply embarrassing [at the time]," West, who is taking over the role of the newly-minted king from Josh O'Connor, told the outlet while opening up about the scene. "Looking back on it, and having to play it, what you're conscious of is that the blame was not with these two people, two lovers, who were having a private conversation. What's really [clear now] is how invasive and disgusting was the press's attention to it, that they printed it out verbatim and you could call a number and listen to the actual tape. I think it made me extremely sympathetic towards the two of them and what they'd gone through."

Confirmation that the infamous phone call will be included in Season 5 comes two years after O'Connor suggested the incident would not be included in the series. Speaking to SiruisXM's EW Live back in May 2020, the actor said he refused to recreate the scene, revealing, "when they offered me the role, one of my first questions was-I say questions, I think it was pretty much a statement-'We are not doing the tampon phone call.' [The Crown] was my one chance for my parents to see something [I've acted in] with no shame and there's no way I was going to scuttle that by talking about tampons on Netflix."


Tampongate will not be the only controversial moment to play out in Season 5. The upcoming season is also set to recreate Princess Diana's 1994 revenge dress. Set to premiere on Wednesday, Nov. 9, The Crown Season 5 is set to cover the '90s, which marked a tragic and tumultuous time for the British royal family. Along with West, the season stars Imelda Staunton, Elizabeth Debicki, Jonathan Pryce, Lesley Manville, and Johnny Lee Miller.