Princess Margaret: Royal Crush
… These are the lovely ladies and gorgeous girls of eras gone by whose beauty, ability, electricity and all-round x-appeal deserve celebration and – ahem – salivation here at George’s Journal…
You know, I can’t say I’m particularly a royalist (but then neither am I really a republicanist), yet with a ‘Royal Wedding’ on the way, the telly, papers, magazines et al are all likely to go crazy and, let’s be honest, rather annoyingly mushy over the young Windsors. But we know better, don’t we? For before them there was a beautiful, sophisticated, cool, very controversial and irresitible royal who, in her time, easily out Diana-ed Diana. She was Princess Margaret – the royal of the ’50s and ’60s – and she’s the latest oh-so worthy addition to the ‘Talent’ corner here at this blog.
Name: Princess Margaret Rose Windsor (official title: Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon)
Born: August 21 1930 at Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland
Died: February 9 2002 in London, England
Height: 5ft 1in
Known for: The sister of Queen Elizabeth II and daughter of King George VI, Margaret was a renowned beauty and fashionable figure of the society circuit in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. In the mid-’50s she broke off her first engagement (to a divorvée) and, in 1960, married photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones. Rumours abound of wild parties and drug-taking by her ‘set’, as well as affairs with baronet-cum-hippie Roddy Llewellyn and even East End tearaway John Binden. Her friends included Noël Coward, Cecil Beaton, Peter Sellers and David Niven (with whom she may too have had a dalliance).
Strange but true: Her good friend US thinker and writer Gore Vidal said of her, “she was far too intelligent for her station in life… [her public notoriety] was inevitable: when there are two sisters and one is The Queen, who must be the source of honour and all that is good, while the other must be the focus of the most creative malice, the evil sister”.
Peak of fitness: Hmm, this one’s a toss up for me. While she was an unquestioned young beauty in the ’50s, must say, I’ve always much liked the ’60s Margaret too, when she was older, with longer hair and, it shows, with a little more knowing, as she mixed it with The Beatles and others of the Swinging Sixties period.
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