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22 Times Princess Margaret Fascinated and Shocked the World

Princess Margaret with her sister, Queen Elizabeth II. Image from The Royal Family website

A few years ago, we have published 10 interesting facts about Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon and it seems the short article wasn’t enough to describe the princess’ colorful yet tragic life. So, here we have compiled 22 fascinating and not-so-fascinating facts about Her Royal Highness that truly make her a character that's larger than life.

1. She was a comic. She loves telling jokes and making people laugh. At dinner parties, she would often do imitations. As a child, she would stuff workers’ shoes with acorns, and would put sticky lime balls in the pockets of equerries.

2. She and Elizabeth Taylor were not enemies but they were absolutely not friends. History tells the former would usually offend the actress during dinner parties. One time, Margaret was heard telling Elizabeth that the latter’s 33.19-carat Krupp diamond ring—which Richard Burton gave her—was “vulgar.”

3. She would have breakfast in bed at 9 A.M. Afterwards, she would spend a full two hours listening to the radio whilst reading newspapers (which she would usually scatter all over the floor once she was done with them).

4. She was quite particular about a number of terminologies. She preferred “buttered eggs” over “scrambled eggs”, as well as “stuff” over “material”. She hated it when table place was referred to as “placement”, as she thought it was way too common a word. She would always insist on calling it “place a table” instead.

5. She was always late. Nancy Mitford, a celebrated English novelist, once recalled being in a dinner with Princess Margaret, who had the writer and all the other guests waiting for her coiffure to get done. It took hours for the hairdresser to finish everything; of course, it was only then that they could officially start the occasion.

6. She was her dog Rowley’s main groomer. She would regularly shampoo and blow-dry the pooch herself.

7. She was a heavy smoker. She started puffing on cigarettes at the age of 15 and allegedly smoked two packs (that’s 60) each day, which resulted to an operation in 1985 that removed a small damaged, albeit non-cancerous, part of her left lung. Only when she suffered a mild stroke in 1998 that she decided to quit smoking.

A young Margaret (center) with her grandmother and sister. Image from Wikimedia

8. She drank A LOT as well. Her favorite beverage to chug on was said to be a blended Scotch whisky called The Famous Grouse. During her Caribbean trips, however, she preferred gin.

9. She loved smoking and drinking so much that she would glue matchboxes on her tumblers so she could do both vices at the same time without much fuss!

10. Her first meet up with Grace Kelly was quite rough. She was said to have told the actress-turned-princess, “You don’t look like a movie star,” and to which the latter replied, “Well, I wasn’t born a movie star.”

11. She once stepped into a scalding hot bath and from which she suffered long-term injuries.

12. You could find a glass case of seashells—the rare ones—in her bathroom. She would polish all these whenever she was bored.

13. She may have offended Lord Carnarvon after she told the man that his infamous drink Madeira was “exactly like petrol.”

14. Her pick-me-up drink? Vodka at 12:30 P.M.

Princess Margaret, c1965. Image from Dutch National Archives.

15. At a party in Chelsea, The Beatles member George Harrison—who that time was out on bail after being arrested for possession of drugs—asked the princess if she could drop the charges. Margaret’s response?  “I don't really think so. It could become a little sticky. Sorry, George.”

16. Princess Margaret had a relationship with Roddy Llewellyn (a landscape gardener who was younger than she was) while still married with Antony Armstrong-Jones. The said affair first became known to the public after the two were photographed together in 1976.

17. Margaret and Antony divorced in May 1978, the first in 400 years of British Royal history.

18. She wanted to appear taller when she’s being driven in her Rolls Royce Silver Wraith, so she had the car’s floor raised to her utmost satisfaction.

19. She was once booed at a ball hosted by Lady Rothermere when she unexpectedly grabbed the microphone from the leader of the band and started singing songs by Cole Porter, gyrating and swaying in her huge, lavish gown. The impromptu performance sounded horrible that someone had to stop her. Embarrassed, the princess had to swiftly exit the room afterwards.

20. She once told supermodel Twiggy that having such a name was “unfortunate.”

21. Would you believe she only had one property in her lifetime? It was a part of Mustique Island, which was given to her as a wedding gift by her alleged suitor Colin Tennant.

22. Her anger could not be contained when four bottles of vodka—which were given to her at a party in Kensington Palace—had suddenly gone missing. The irate princess did not stop hunting until the next morning. The stolen bottles had been recovered not long after.

Princess Margaret in the U.S., c1965. Image from The U.S. National Archives

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