Camilla meets actor who played her younger self in The Crown

Duchess of Cornwall jokes that ‘alter ego’ could step in at any moment while speaking at International Women’s Day event

The Duchess of Cornwall came face to face with the actor who played her younger self in The Crown at an event to mark International Women’s Day.

The event, a reception at Clarence House, was hosted by Camilla and was attended by a range of women leading in fields such as the arts, politics and business for International Women’s Day. Emerald Fennell, who portrayed her in the Netflix series, was among those in attendance.

The Duchess of Cornwall and Fennell were seen to be in conversation for a few minutes, but when Fennell was asked about what the conversation involved, she said: “You know what – I’m going to be very discreet, because if I’ve learned anything it’s ‘loose lips sink ships’.”

The Duchess of Cornwall’s speech, which called on women to “share their stories” in order to bring about a more equal world, addressed Fennell directly.

“It is reassuring to know that, if I should fall off my perch at any moment, my fictional alter ego is here to take over,” the Duchess said to laughter from the audience. “So, Emerald, be prepared!”

Fennell said their meeting 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,” Fennell said. “She’s been in the spotlight for a long time and has always weathered it with a lot of grace and good humour.”

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

The event, which marked International Women’s Day, also featured a moving speech by Inna Prystaiko, the wife of the Ukrainian ambassador to the UK, in which she spoke about the experience of women during the invasion.

While holding back tears, Prystaiko 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 Crown has previously faced controversy regarding whether the show was historically accurate, with the former culture secretary Oliver Dowden urging the company to add a disclaimer that the show was fiction. Netflix responded that they had no intention of doing so.