Prince Charles faces past trauma as he revisits the scene of heartbreak that almost claimed his life

Prince Charles’ heartbreaking near-death experience also saw his close friend lose his life back in 1988.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales visits the Historic Dockyard Chatham in Kent
(Image credit: Photo by Gareth Fuller - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Charles faced his past trauma as he returned to the scene of heartbreak that almost claimed his life just days after recovering from Covid-19.


The confirmation from Clarence House that Prince Charles tested positive for Covid-19 for a second time left fans shocked last month, as the future king entered self-isolation and cancelled upcoming engagements. Just days later, Duchess Camilla tested positive herself, with Buckingham Palace later announcing that the Queen also has Covid and was experiencing “mild cold-like symptoms”. Since then the Prince of Wales has resumed royal duties, though Prince Charles’ first appearance after isolation divided fans. 

And it seems as February drew to an end, Prince Charles decided to take a brief vacation to Switzerland. According to the Daily Mail, his chosen destination was Klosters Ski Resort and this is one location that could well have brought back many traumatic memories of an incident that almost claimed his life and saw his close friend lose his. 

Princess Diana, Prince Charles and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York on vacation in Klosters in 1988.

Princess Diana, Prince Charles and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York on vacation in Klosters in 1988.

(Image credit: Photo by Patrice PICOT/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

The publication alleged that the Prince of Wales was back in Klosters to take a ski trip and that a source claimed he was scheduled to have that week off. Instead, after time spent in self-isolation, they suggested that Prince Charles cut his visit short to “catch up” on work. 

But whilst the ski resort is a beautiful destination and the perfect choice for ski-lovers like Prince Charles, it was also the site of one of the most terrifying moments in his life. Back in 1988, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Sarah Ferguson and other friends visited Klosters for vacation. 

Two of these friends were Major Hugh Lindsay, former equerry to the Queen, and Patricia Palmer-Tomkinson.  In a devastating turn of events one day the ski party were caught in an avalanche on March 10th, with Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson not on the slopes. 

Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, return to England with the coffin of their friend Major Hugh Lindsay at RAF Northolt on March 12, 1988

Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, return to England following the death of their friend Major Hugh Lindsay.

(Image credit: Photo by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images)

As reported by The Guardian at the time, Buckingham Palace reportedly explained that the avalanche started above the royal party and they were able to avoid the oncoming ice and snow, all except Hugh and Patricia. Patricia’s leg was injured and Hugh lost his life on the slope that day. 

The pair were said to have been caught in a sudden slide of snow, with eye-witnesses claiming that Prince Charles was visibly distressed as a helicopter lifted him off the slope. The publication added that the eldest of the Queen’s children was also involved in attempting to dig Hugh out from the snow.

This horrific incident was something Netflix’s The Crown included in season 4, with the episode titled simply, ‘Avalanche’. In the decades since it happened Prince Charles has visited Klosters multiple times, though it’s likely that trips to the resort remain tinged with great heartbreak after that terrible day.

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.