Meeting someone you’ve played in a movie or television series could be a recipe for disaster.
But that wasn't the case for actress Emerald Fennell when she finally came face to face with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, whom she portrayed in the award-winning series The Crown.
Emerald met Camilla during an event the duchess hosted in honour of International Women’s Day at Clarence House in London.
And even though The Crown has apparently ruffled some feathers in the royal family and come under fire for historical inaccuracies, the 74-year-old duchess seemed delighted to meet her TV double.
Camilla addressed Emerald directly in her speech after welcoming everyone. “It’s reassuring to know that if I should fall off my perch at any moment, my fictional alter ego is here to take over. So, Emerald, be prepared,” the duchess quipped.
Emerald (36) joked that she was nervous she might be thrown in the Tower of London, but enjoyed meeting Camilla, describing their encounter as “absolutely delightful”.
“She's 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,” Emerald told reporters.
READ MORE | How the 4th season of The Crown could put Prince Charles and Camilla in the firing line again
The British actress portrays a younger version of Camilla in seasons 3 and 4 of The Crown and says she was “over the moon” when she landed the role.
“I absolutely love Camilla. She’s been in the spotlight for a long time and has always weathered it with a lot of grace and good humour,” Emerald said.
In season 3 of The Crown, viewers saw how Prince Charles (played by Josh O'Connor) was denied a future with Camilla by the royal family who felt she wasn’t a suitable partner for a future king of England. Season 4 showed how he proposed to and married Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) yet continued to see Camilla, who was then married to Andrew Parker Bowles, on the quiet.
An insider told Vanity Fair magazine it was likely Camilla had watched the series and wouldn't have seen anything wrong with it. “I imagine she’ll be tuning in with a glass of red wine to watch it . . . She has a wonderful sense of humour and this won’t fuss her in the slightest,” the insider said in 2020.
The duchess chatted to the actress for a few minutes, but Emerald wouldn't let anything slip when asked about their conversation. “You know what – I’m going to be discreet because if I’ve learnt anything it’s ‘loose lips sink ships’,” she says.
Besides Emerald, the duchess also hosted a number of high-profile women, including Inna Prystaiko, wife of Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, and singer and former Spice Girl Mel B.
Camilla, who'll become queen consort when Charles (73) takes the throne, is now gearing up to be part of the Women of the World Festival taking place this weekend. The duchess, who's president of the festival, is still as passionate about equality as ever. “We'll need more than 135 years to close the gender gap worldwide,” she says.
SOURCES: DAILYMAIL.CO.UK, ETONLINE.COM, PEOPLE.COM, RADIOTIMES.COM, TATLER.COM, VARIETY.COM