She might have shared the same wealth and status as her family, but it was her rebellious and carefree nature that captivated attention and made Princess Margaret one of the most intriguing members of the royal family.
Now, the BBC plans to explore Margaret’s private life in a two-part documentary that promises to deliver an intimate portrait of the rebellious princess.
The program will include interviews with Lady Anne Glenconner, who was Margaret’s lady-in-waiting and childhood friend. Craig Brown, who celebrated Margaret’s acid-tongued nature in his recent biography on the royal, also appears in the documentary as well as Basil Charles, former owner of Basil’s Bar on Mustique, where the princess had a holiday home, who says despite her lofty ways, Margaret craved a normal life above all else.
“She was a trailblazer, she was a little bit of a rebel,” Charles tells the program. “She wanted to have the [royal] life but she also wanted to have a normal life.”
The BBC has categorised the documentary as a compelling profile of a woman “whose life and loves reflected the social and sexual revolution that transformed Britain’s during the 20th century … This deeply personal account reveals how Princess Margaret’s character combined the rebellious force of modernity and a deep respect for tradition”.
The documentary comes after Vanessa Kirby’s standout performance as Princess Margaret in Netflix series The Crown, which piqued public interest in the Queen’s younger sister.
The Crown, which follows the Queen’s journey from princess to head of the Monarchy, delved into Margaret’s personal life in season two, and covered her forbidden love affair with divorcee Peter Townsend, her controversial wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones, and her strained relationship with her elder sister.
Much of Margaret’s life was previously laid bare in Brown’s 2017 biography, Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret, which revealed her lavish daily routine included breakfast in bed at 9am, a vodka pick-me-up at 12:30pm and a four-course informal lunch served on silver platters at 1pm, with half a bottle of wine for good measure.
Royal fans won’t have to wait to too long before they get their next glimpse of the princess though as Netflix has already begun filming season three of The Crown and recently unveiled the first look at Helena Bonham Carter as Margaret, after she took over the role from Kirby to portray the princess in middle age.
The first solo shot, which shows the actress in character and holding a lit cigarette in her left hand, was shared on the show’s official Twitter account earlier this month with the caption “Hope”.
The third season is expected to hit screens in 2019. The show will pick up where season two left off in 1964 and will cover the royal family’s lives through the early 1970s.