Prince Charles had a brush with death while he was on a ski holiday with Princess Diana and some friends in March 1988. As depicted in The Crown season 4, an avalanche did occur in Klosters, which took the life of his friend and the Queen's equerry, Major Hugh Lindsay.
The incident was played out in The Crown season 4 episode 9, showing Queen Elizabeth (played by Olivia Colman) holding back her tears over the thought that her eldest son could be dead. But as it turned out, Prince Charles was able to get out of the snow without any injuries and rushed to save his friends.
Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, were not skiing at that time. They were safely in the chalet when the tragedy took place, injuring their friend, Patricia Palmer-Tomkinson.
According to History Extra, the storyline in the Netflix drama was pretty accurate. Prince Charles' party apparently went skiing because they receive early advice of favorable weather conditions.
However, People reported that Prince Charles and his friends allegedly ignored the other weather advice that warned of an avalanche. It was the heir to the throne who led his friends to a slope that had a record of accidents.
What wasn't tackled in The Crown was the criminal inquiry into Lindsay's death. Prince Charles was willing to take the blame during the investigation. However, he was cleared of any fault in June 1988, but the investigators did note that an avalanche warning was in effect later that day near the elevation of the incident.
The Prince of Wales recounted this horrible ski trip in a documentary in 1994 with Jonathan Dimbleby. He admitted he has "never seen anything terrifying in my life."
Prince Charles said that he kept talking to Palmer-Tomkinson during the ride to the hospital to save her. Witnesses said that the royal appeared to be distressed and in tears as he got into the helicopter.
Meanwhile, Queen Elizabeth was able to speak to Prince Charles when he returned to the chalet. Her Majesty was in a royal engagement with the Lawn Tennis Association in London when she was told of her son's accident.
Palmer-Tomkinson recovered from her serious injuries after receiving treatment in intensive care. Her husband said that she had been depressed about Lindsay's death but none of them, including the family Lindsay left behind, blamed Prince Charles for inviting them to be in the slopes.