Inside Prince Charles’ favourite ski resort, where he survived the fatal avalanche featured on ‘The Crown’

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Left: Princess Diana and Prince Charles stand near the wife of Major Hugh Lindsay on March 12, 1988, in London, England, following his death. Right: Prince Charles paints with watercolors in Klosters, Switzerland on February 22, 1994. Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images; Julian Parker/UK Press/Getty Images
  • In March 1988, Prince Charles was involved in an avalanche accident that killed his close friend, Major Hugh Lindsay, at Klosters, a Swiss ski resort.
  • The accident has come back into focus as a storyline in season four, episode nine of Netflix’s hit series “The Crown.”
  • Diana never went back to Klosters after the accident, but Charles returned throughout the ’90s and 2000s with their children, Prince William and Prince Harry.
  • Take a look inside the famously discreet resort where Prince Charles has two cable cars dedicated to him, and Will and Kate Middleton were first photographed sharing a kiss.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for the fourth season of Netflix’s “The Crown.”


In 1978, Prince Charles took his first trip to Klosters, a ski resort in the Swiss Alps, with his then-girlfriend Lady Sarah Spencer. Shortly after, Spencer told the press she did not love Charles, RadioTimes reported.

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Prince Charles and Lady Sarah Spencer ski Klosters, Switzerland, in February 1978. Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

Source: RadioTimes


Two years later, Charles began dating Spencer’s young sister, the future Princess Diana, but his love affair with the ski resort would ultimately outlast both relationships.

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Prince Charles and Princess Diana ski in Klosters, Switzerland, on February 6, 1986. Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Source: Harper’s Bazaar


Located next to Davos, home of the World Economic Forum, Klosters is a two-hour train ride through the mountains from Zurich, Switzerland.

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A train runs through Klosters, Switzerland, on March 30, 1993. Antonio RIBEIRO DE SOUZA/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Source: Destination Davos Klosters


Back in the 1950s, the resort was known as “Hollywood on the Rocks” for the British and American stars it attracted, such as Julie Andrews, Greta Garbo, Orson Welles, and Gene Kelly.

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Julie Andrews waves goodbye at London Airport as she boards a plane for Zurich on her way for a holiday in Klosters, Switzerland on March 6, 1959. PA/PA Images/Getty Images

Source: Destination Davos Klosters, Condé Nast Traveller


Gene Kelly once danced on tables at the Chesa Grischuna hotel, and Audrey Hepburn played ninepins in the bowling alley, Simon Wells reported in a 2019 article about the destination for Condé Nast Traveller.

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Skiers pass by the Chesa Grischuna hotel in Klosters, Switzerland, 1963. Slim Aarons/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Source: Condé Nast Traveller


Compared to nearby Saint Moritz and other ski destinations of the well-to-do, Klosters is decidedly understated.

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View of Klosters, Switzerland, in winter. Destination Davos Klosters

Source: Condé Nast Traveller


“No other world-famous Alpine resort disguises its affluence, glamour and stellar celebrity patronage with quite as much unflappable nonchalance as Klosters,” Wells wrote.

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View of Klosters, Switzerland, in winter by night. Destination Davos Klosters

Source: Condé Nast Traveller


Skiing is really the main affair, Wells added, noting that in Klosters “it’s easier to buy a box of kindling than a designer handbag.”

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A farmhouse and barn in Klosters, Switzerland, pictured March 27, 2004. Tim Graham/Getty Images

Source: Condé Nast Traveller


Charles, an avid skier, was hooked.

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Prince Charles in Klosters, Switzerland on January 24, 1980. Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

In the early years of their marriage, Charles and Diana visited Klosters on several occasions, travelling with friends and family including Prince Andrew and his then-wife Sarah Ferguson.

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Prince Charles, Princess Diana, Sarah Ferguson, and Prince Andrew ski in Klosters, Switzerland, on February 17, 1987. Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

The “unwritten agreement” in Klosters is that, outside of official photo calls, royals are to be left alone by the media, The Times reported in 2005.

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Prince Charles wears a joke mask to tease press photographers in Klosters, Switzerland, on January 23, 1980. Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Source: The Times


In early photo calls, Diana appeared effervescent; however, a trip in 1988 changed how she felt about the destination.

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Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson ski on March 9, 1988, in Klosters, Switzerland. Patrice PICOT/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images

Source: Insider


On March 10, Prince Charles was skiing in Klosters with a group of five on an unmarked trail off of the Wang run when an avalanche hit.

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The Wang ski run on Gotschnagrat Mountain near Klosters in Switzerland, pictured January 25, 2000. Tim Graham/Getty Images

Source: Insider


Prince Charles survived, but another member of their party, Patricia Palmer-Tomkinson, was seriously injured. Charles’ close friend Major Hugh Lindsay did not survive.

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A rescue team arrived at the scene of the avalanche in Klosters, Switzerland, in March 1988. Reto Hügin/RDB /ullstein bild/Getty Images

Source: Insider


The event, depicted in season four, episode nine of “The Crown,” drove a wedge between Diana and Charles, according to royal biographers.

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Left: Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin play Charles and Diana in season four, episode nine of ‘The Crown.’ Right: Diana and Charles stand with the wife of Major Hugh Lindsay on March 12 following his death. Netflix/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

Source: Insider


After the accident, Diana refused to return to Klosters, her bodyguard Ken Wharfe wrote in his 2002 book, “Diana: A Closely Guarded Mystery.”

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Princess Diana, Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry attend Princess Beatrice’s christening at St. James Palace, on December 20, 1988, in London, England. Julian Parker/UK Press/Getty Images

Source: Insider, “Diana: A Closely Guarded Mystery”


“Diana blamed Charles for his recklessness in choosing such a hazardous run,” journalist Tina Brown wrote in her 2007 biographical account of the princess.

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Princess Diana departs Klosters, Switzerland, for London, England, on March 11, 1988. James Andanson/Sygma/Getty Images

Source: Insider, “The Diana Chronicles”


Charles, however, did go back, returning one year later for a ski vacation.

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Prince Charles is picked up for skiing in Klosters, Switzerland, in March 1989. Boris Nizon/RDB/ullstein bild/Getty Images

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew also returned to ski.

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Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson ski in Klosters, Switzerland on January 16, 1989. Andy Mettler/AP Photo

Throughout the ’90s, Charles and Ferguson kept returning, turning their trips into royal family vacations. Both separated from their spouses in 1992.

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Prince William and Prince Harry pose with Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie on January 3, 1995, in Klosters, Switzerland. Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Source: Washington Post


Prince Harry and Prince William accompanied their dad on trips into the mid-2000s.

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Prince Charles poses with sons Prince William and Prince Harry in Klosters, Switzerland, on April 13, 2000. Ken Goff/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images

Tara and Santa Palmer-Tomkinson, daughters of Patricia Palmer-Tomkinson, joined them …

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Left to right: Santa and Tara Palmer-Tomkinson join Charles and Harry on a ski lift in Klosters, Switzerland on January 1, 1997. Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

… as did royal staff, such as William and Harry’s nanny, Tiggy Legge-Bourke, and Charles’ private secretary, Commander Richard Aylard.

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Tiggy Legge-Bourke and Private Secretary Commander Richard Aylard ski in Klosters, Switzerland on February 18, 1994. Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Royal bodyguards hit the slopes, too.

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Two royal police bodyguards, including Tony Parker on the right, ride a ski lift in Klosters, Switzerland, on February 18, 1994. Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

In the peace and quiet of Klosters, Charles indulged in watercolor painting, a hobby of his since the 1970s.

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Prince Charles paints with watercolors in Klosters, Switzerland, on February 22, 1994. Julian Parker/UK Press/Getty Images

Source: Insider


He even had one of his paintings of the area featured on the 1997 season ski pass.

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One of Charles’ watercolor paintings of Klosters, Switzerland, is featured on the 1997 resort season ski pass. Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Source: Insider


Charles and the boys often stayed at the Hotel Walserhof, a chalet-like hotel with a Michelin-star restaurant.

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Hotel Walserhof in Klosters, Switzerland, pictured on July 10, 2013. Tim Graham/Getty Images

Source: Mountain News Corporation


In 2001, the Sunday Telegraph reported that Harry, based on accounts from his friends, planned to work in the restaurant of Hotel Walserhof after graduating from college in 2003.

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Swiss chef Beat Bolliger, of the gourmet restaurant at the Walserhof Hotel in Klosters, Switzerland, prepares meat in December 2000. Reuters Pictures Archive

Source: The Telegraph


While Harry ended up spending his post-college year in Australia, a Hotel Walserhof spokesman told that Telegraph in 2001 that “Harry loves to stay in Klosters and he loves skiing.”

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Prince Harry wears a baseball cap with the logo ‘Hotel Walserhof Klosters’ on January 1, 1997. Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images

Source: The Telegraph


In January 2006, Wiliam and Kate Middleton were photographed sharing their first public kiss at the resort, according to a 2007 report from The Guardian. They were photographed again at the resort riding a T-bar lift in 2008.

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William and Middleton use a T-bar drag lift on March 19, 2008 in Klosters, Switzerland. Indigo/Getty Images

Source: The Guardian


While William, Harry, Eugenie, and Beatrice have visited several ski resorts across Europe like Verbier and Courchevel in recent years, Prince Charles has remained a steadfast visitor of Klosters.

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Prince William and Kate Middleton with their children, Princess Charlotte and Prince George, enjoy a ski vacation on March 3, 2016, in Courchevel, France. John Stillwell/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Source: The Evening Standard


In March 2018, the resort honoured Prince Charles by inscribing “HRH the Prince of Wales, celebrating 40 years skiing in Klosters” on the side of two cable cars.

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A GotschnaBahn cable car in Klosters, Switzerland. IG Zweitwohnungsbesitzer Klosters/Destination Davos Klosters

Source: Seesicht


Through the years, Klosters has remained a quiet ski village where royals, like Prince Charles, can let their guard down.

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Charles sleds in Klosters, Switzerland, on January 6, 1995. Julian Parker/UK Press/Getty Images

“No one bothers him — he can just ski,” Francisca Kellet wrote in a November 2015 Tatler article on Klosters. “There’s no scene, no glitter, no flash.”

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Prince Charles skis in Klosters, Switzerland, on January 2, 1996. Pascal Le Segretain/Sygma/Getty Images

Source: Tatler