Did Princess Diana and Charles really take William with them to Australia and New Zealand?

Did Princess Diana and Charles really take William with them to Australia and New Zealand?

01/07/2021

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Episode six of The Crown season four is titled Terra Nullius. The instalment follows Prince Charles (played by Josh O’Connor) and Diana (Emma Corrin) on their first joint tour of Australia and New Zealand, which took place shortly after she gave birth to their first son Prince William. Did Princess Diana and Charles really take William with them to Australia and New Zealand? Express.co.uk has everything you need to know about the truth behind the series.

Did Princess Diana and Charles really take William with them to Australia and New Zealand?

In episode six of The Crown season four, Princess Diana and Prince Charles embarked on their first official tour.

The couple travelled to Australia in March 1983 for a six-week tour of the country, followed by a trip to New Zeland.

Terra Nullius features Diana and Charles’ highs and lows of the trip, including “Dianamania”, their dance on the floor of the Sydney charity ball alongside their late-night fights and the prince’s jealousy of Diana’s popularity.

In The Crown, the tour is portrayed as a turning point in their relationship, with the couple coming closer together during the six-week trip, before growing apart throughout the remainder of their marriage.

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In the episode, their trip gets off to a rocky start, with Diana insisting they bring their 10-month-old son, Prince William with them.

Diana is portrayed as refusing to leave her son in the UK and was reluctant for him to spend too much time with a nanny while she was overseas.

In real life, Prince William did join his parents on the six-week trip, a move which broke years of the royal protocol which stated two heirs should not travel together on the same trip to secure the line of succession.

In the episode, Queen Elizabeth II (Olivia Colman) laughed at the idea of taking children on trips, stating she and Prince Philip (Tobias Menzies) left Charles and Anne (Erin Doherty) behind for five months when they visited Australia in 1954.

Princess Margaret, providing a voice of reason then said: “And do you suppose that might have had consequences?” with a nod in Princess Anne’s direction.

The Queen’s own parents, the Duke and Duchess of York did a tour of Australia in 1927 during Elizabeth’s first birthday and did not take her with them, which may have justified Elizabeth’s response.

In reality, due to the tour’s schedule, Diana and Charles were separated from William for two weeks at the beginning of the trip.

In The Crown, Diana insisted on an unplanned detour to visit her son, where the couple discussed the unhappy state of their marriage.

However, it is unknown if this detour and conversation took place in real life.

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Although William did travel to Australia and New Zeland, it was not at the demands of Princess Diana, according to Andrew Morton in his biography of the late Princess.

Morton wrote in Diana: Her True Story – In Her Own Words, the princess was “all ready to leave William. I accepted that as part of duty, albeit it wasn’t going to be easy”.

Diana, who spoke to Morton for the biography, told him: “We didn’t see very much of him [William], but at least we were under the same sky, so to speak”.

William stole the hearts of Australia and New Zealand during a photo opportunity at the cattle and sheep ranch in Woomargama where the royals were staying.

The photo op, portrayed in The Crown, saw Charles and Diana playing with their young son on a picnic blanket on the grounds of the ranch.

Bedell Smith, in her biography of Prince Charles, titled The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life, described a letter Charles wrote to a friend about his time with his son and wife on the tour.

Smith wrote how Charles and Diana watched William learn to crawl “at high speed knocking everything off the tables and causing unbelievable destruction,” as they “laughed and laughed with sheer, hysterical pleasure.”

The Crown is streaming on Netflix now

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