08 March 2022

Camilla meets actress who played her in The Crown at International Women’s Day reception

08 March 2022

The Duchess of Cornwall came face to face with her younger self when she met the actress who played her in the acclaimed TV series The Crown.

Camilla welcomed Emerald Fennell and other leading women from the arts, politics and business to her Clarence House home as she celebrated International Women’s Day.

Inna Prystailo, wife of Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, who last week was comforted by the duchess, gave a moving speech about the plight of women in her homeland as the Russian invasion continues.

Struggling to hold back tears, she said: “Today there are no smiles and no peace, just horror and sorrow in the eyes of every Ukrainian woman, mother and wife.”

She added: “Now we have to count the death toll of our people and watch their frightened, crying children who are forced to flee their native land with their mothers and sisters, leaving their fathers to defend our country.”

The Duchess of Cornwall speaks to actress Emerald Fennell during a reception at Clarence House to mark International Women’s Day (Arthur Edwards/The Sun/PA) (PA Wire)

Camilla, president of the Women of the World Festival being staged this weekend, said “vast strides” still need to be taken towards greater equality and told her guests: “We will need more than 135 years to close the gender gap worldwide.”

Much has been written about whether the royal family are happy, or not, about their portrayals in the Netflix series The Crown but the duchess seemed pleased to see her TV double.

Fennell said about their encounter: “It was absolutely delightful. She is such an impressive person, it was fittingly nice to meet her today on International Women’s Day because she does so much for so many particularly female-centred charities.

“I was nervous I might be thrown in the tower but so far so good.”

On Camilla, she added: “She’s been in the spotlight for a long time and has always weathered it with a lot of grace and good humour.”

The duchess and the actress chatted for a few minutes but when asked about the conversation Fennell remained tight-lipped and replied with a smile: “You know what – I’m going to be very discreet, because if I’ve learnt anything it’s ‘loose lips sink ships’.

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