Major Hugh Lindsay was skiing off-piste in Klosters, Switzerland, in 1988 with a number of senior royals when an avalanche hit. After Lindsay was buried in snow, his friend the Prince of Wales and others reportedly attempted to save his life.
The disaster is dramatised in episode nine of The Crown entitled “Avalanche”.
Lindsay’s widow, Sarah Horsley, told The Sunday Telegraph that she was “horrified” to see her “private tragedy” featured in the Netflix show after she had asked the series showrunners not to dramatise it.
“I was horrified when I was told [the episode] was happening and was very concerned about the impact on my daughter,” said Horsley.
Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles mourning Major Hugh Lindsays death in episode nine of The Crown
She added: “I’m very upset by it and I’m dreading people seeing it. I wrote to them asking them not to do it, not to use the accident.
“I suppose members of the royal family have to grin and bear it, but for me it’s a very private tragedy.”
Horsley revealed that the producers had responded to her request with a “very kind letter”, which stated “that they understood my concerns, but they hope I will feel that they deal with difficult subject matters with integrity and great sensitivity”.
However, Horsley concluded: “I think it’s very unkind to many members of the family [to dramatise the accident].”
At the time of the disaster, Horsley was pregnant with their daughter Alice – to whom Prince Charles went on to become godfather – and was working in the press office at Buckingham Palace.
The group flew back to London, where a guard of honour from Lindsay’s regiment met his coffin.
Despite positive reviews, the fourth series of the popular historical drama has come under fire for its deviation from known fact.
The Crown is currently available to stream on Netflix. A dissection of the show’s historical accuracy can be found here.