The world knows about Princess Margaret’s wild party lifestyle and her forbidden love for Peter Townsend – but is this the whole story? Was this image of the scandalous younger sister fair, or was there more to the rebellious Princess than meets the eye?
In the third episode of The Royal View – Sex, Lies and Scandals – Ingrid Seward, author and editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, Princess Diana’s former bodyguard Ken Wharfe, Prince Philip’s friend Gyles Brandreth and Sunday Telegraph columnist Sophia Money-Coutts turn their attention to the dark horse of the Royal Family.
Ken Wharfe had first-hand experience while supervising Margaret and recalls one time when “Princess Margaret [was] with the Italian Ambassador in Rome – completely drunk – and the Italian Ambassador said to me ‘I’m so glad you arrived!’”
Besides Ken’s time spent trying to steer an inebriated Margaret away from the paparazzi, Sophia Money-Coutts reinforces this image of a Royal living a party lifestyle in recounting an article she wrote focusing on Margaret’s daily routine.
“She lay in bed till 11am in the morning, she had buttered eggs brought to her – not ‘scrambled eggs’ because she thought that was too common. She’d lie in bed all day reading the papers and chain smoking. She smoked up to 60 Chesterfield cigarettes every day. She sometimes had her first vodka ‘pick me up’ at 11 followed by a long bath.”
While the image of Margaret perpetuated by the media is one that the panel agrees was accurate, Gyles Brandreth met the Princess himself and insists that there was more to her than met the eye.
Gyles noted that this image of the Princess as a lush is largely a caricature, and he knew her to be “fun, intelligent and she was genuinely and knowledgeably interested in the arts, cinema, ballet, music and dance.”
The panel may only be able to scratch the surface of this multifaceted Princess but it is clear there is more to Margaret than most are aware of.
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