Camilla Comes Face-to-Face with Actress Who Plays Her on The Crown

And it actually wasn’t awkward at all.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It’s not every day you get to meet the woman who plays you on TV—but that’s exactly what happened when Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, met Emerald Fennell, the actress who portrays her on Netflix’s hit The Crown.

Fennell was at Camilla’s home, Clarence House, for a reception to mark International Women’s Day this week. The two women happily chatted, laughed together, and even posed together for a photo.

“It was particularly nice to meet her today on International Women's Day because, you know, she does so much for so many particularly female charities,” Fennell told journalist Georgie Prodromou, via PEOPLE. “I was nervous I might be thrown in the Tower—but so far, so good.”

Fennell took on the role of the then Camilla Parker-Bowles for seasons three and four of the show, and, though she wouldn’t disclose exactly what she discussed with her real-life royal counterpart, she praised the Duchess of Cornwall, saying “she’s been in the spotlight for a long time and has always weathered it with grace.”

For her part, Camilla mentioned Fennell in her speech at the reception—and, with her trademarked sense of humor on full display, scored laughs while doing so.

“For me, it’s very reassuring to know that if I should fall off my perch at any moment, my fictional alter ego is here to take over,” Camilla said. “So Emerald—be prepared!”

For seasons five and six of The Crown, Fennell will be replaced by Olivia Williams, who will take the storyline through the 1990s—including the dramatic breakdown of Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles, in no small part because of Charles’ affair with Camilla. 

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.