“The Crown” season five skips over Princess Diana’s own phone-hacking scandal, often referred to as “Squidgygate.”
1992 was a rough year for the royal family. As season five of “The Crown” spends an entire episode portraying, the year saw plenty of royal breakups as well as a devastating fire at Windsor Castle, which led to Queen Elizabeth II calling it her “annus horribilis.”
But what the show failed to capture onscreen was a certain scandal referred to by British media as “Squidgy-gate.”
Princess Diana and Prince Charles were still married in 1992 when media outlets published transcripts of an intimate phone conversation she had with her alleged lover, James Gilbey. Diana later denied there was anything adulterous in the nature of the conversation.
Nevertheless, as Insider previously reported, Gilbey told Diana he loved her and called her “Squidgy” 53 times during their conversation, hence the scandal’s nickname being “Squidgygate.”
1992 also saw Princess Anne make royal history by becoming the first child of a British monarch to divorce and remarry.
In retrospect, 1992 was quite a boundary-breaking year for the royal family, led in particular by Princess Anne.
That year, Anne became the first of the Queen’s children to be granted a divorce. Although her divorce wasn’t as high profile as Charles or Andrew’s would later turn out to be, her decision to remarry months later certainly made headlines around the world.
And part of the reason Anne’s second marriage caused such a stir is that in doing so, she became the first child of a British monarch ever to remarry and defy the Church of England, which didn’t give its blessing for divorced people to remarry until 2002, The Guardian reported at the time.
Season five of “The Crown” could’ve told the heartbreaking story behind Diana’s famous solo photo in front of the Taj Mahal.
In February 1992, prior to being granted a separation, Diana and Charles paid a visit to India.
The royal tour took place right around the time of Valentine’s Day. While both royals were said to be busy with meetings and engagements around the country, they were expected to arrive together at the Taj Mahal, a monument symbolic of love, according to People.
But Diana arrived solo, and her appearance resulted in the now-iconic images of her looking slightly sad and alone in front of the historic building.
What tugs on the heartstrings more is that royal photographer Anwar Hussein later told People Charles said to him — prior to his engagement to Diana — that he’d wanted to bring a girlfriend or wife to the Taj Mahal.
Charles and Diana’s final trip as a couple was supposed to show their marriage was still intact, but the opposite happened.
In the final stretch of their marriage in 1992, Charles and Diana went on a royal tour of South Korea together.
According to Andrew Morton’s biography, “Diana — Her True Story,” Diana tried to get out of it but had been encouraged by the Queen to go in order to show the public her marriage was still intact, The Express reported.
But the opposite happened. The couple wound up looking so miserable in all of the photographs taken of them that the British media began to nickname them “The Glums,” Vogue reported.
“The Crown” skims over Sarah Ferguson’s “toe-sucking” scandal – and the fact she was with the Queen when the photos leaked.
In episode four of “The Crown” season five, the Queen (Imelda Staunton) is informed by Prince Andrew (James Murray) that Sarah Ferguson, his wife, had been photographed having her toes sucked by John Bryan, her financial advisor.
What the show skips over, however, is what reportedly happened when the photographs were actually released. According to Elle, Ferguson was at Balmoral with the Queen, Andrew, Charles, and Diana, at the time the photographs were published in British tabloids.
Speculation on what happened after is rife, but Ferguson later said in December 2021 that following the scandal she believes she became the “most persecuted” woman in the history of the royal family.
Queen Elizabeth II was the target of a successful prank call in 1995, but the incident didn’t make it onscreen.
The Queen had her share of royal controversies in the 1990s – and one involved her being the target of a prank call.
In 1995, she spent 17 minutes on the phone with a person she thought was the Canadian prime minister. In reality, it was a Canadian radio DJ, according to an AP News report from the time.
Pierre Brassard, a radio host from Montréal, called Buckingham Palace in October 1995 asking to be put through to the Queen – once he was, the pair discussed a range of topics, including what she was doing for Halloween and her view on a referendum in Québec, according to AP News.
In the end, the palace put out a statement saying the incident was more annoying than it was damaging to the Queen. “We think it’s irritating. We think it’s a waste of the queen’s time,” a palace spokesperson told AP News.
“The Crown” glazed over the real reasons why Hasnat Khan and Diana split, and he later hinted it involved Dodi Fayed.
The only explanation viewers get for the demise of Diana’s relationship with Dr. Hasnat Khan is when she tells Charles that she “scared him off,” in the penultimate episode.
But the real reasons Diana and Khan, who she once referred to as “Mr. Wonderful” according to Entertainment Tonight, ended up splitting are more complex. After the Sunday Mirror exposed their relationship in 1997, Khan later told police he couldn’t imagine marrying or having children with her given the media circus, Vogue reported.
But while it was long-thought that he ended the relationship, Khan said Diana was the one to end things between them in July 1997, the publication added.
And during an inquest into Diana’s death in 2008, Khan also said her new relationship with Dodi Fayed played a role in their breakup, the Daily Mail reported.
“I think Diana finally realised that Al Fayed could give her all the things I could not,” he said. “He had money and could provide the necessary security. You never see Al Fayed without six or seven bodyguards.”