Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
August 21, 1930 - February 9, 2002
"When my sister and I were growing up, she was made out to be the goody-goody one. That was boring so the press tried to make out that I was wicked as hell."
Not a happy camper, and certainly not well liked. I found it stunning in comparison to Diana - but you couldn't compare her to Diana. I mean, both were mad as a box of frogs, but Diana courted the public and the press. Margaret couldn't give a shit. But then, she was blood Royal, which meant everything. She was so Royal, that she would sometimes answer her telephone, "This is Royalty speaking." Yeah, you get the picture.
The hoopla of Diana's funeral must have made Margaret INSANE. I am sort of surprised a lip-reader has never revealed what was discussed here at the 5:52 mark
I know quite a few people in the catering biz, who worked functions with Margaret. There were impeccable instructions for her appearances. There was to be a waiter standing approximately every 50 feet, with a bottle of Famous Grouse whisky handy. As Margaret would make her way through the room, speaking to people, she would reach the waiter (who was instructed not to look at her) and absently shove her glass in his face (with back turned), while he refilled it. My friend Phillip once offered to take her coat. She dropped it on the floor in front of him. He said, "I'll get it m'am." She said, "No. I'll never remember where it is if you move it." Well, it does show she had a sense of humor. She was famous for her quick wit, but usually it was a put down.
Also, 60's supermodel Twiggy told me the story of her having dinner with Margaret at some posh function. She was at a dinner at Buck House, and sat next to Mags for about 2 hours, before she finally turned to her. In the best Royal voice, Margaret asked, "And who are you?" "I'm Leslie Hornby m'am, but people call me Twiggy." "Oh. How unfortunate." and turned her back.
Margaret was basically retired for the last 20 years. She was a big supporter of the Arts, which the Queen was never really in to. She loved the ballet and often went. There's a story about Margaret attending a Dusty Springfield concert, on Dusty's page. Margaret famously met the Beatles, and hung out with Peter Sellers. They were tight. She also (at least tried) smoking pot.
Margaret's real health problems began in March 1999, when she suffered severe burns to her feet. Apparently scalding them in the bath. I still stick to my original story that she was wasted at a party, and said, "Yep, I can walk across those coals. Noooo problem." That was the beginning of the end for her. After that, it was stroke after stroke, illness after illness.
At 2 in the afternoon on Feb. 8, 2002, she had another stroke, while in her apartment in Kensington Palace. Earlier that day, when she woke, and her servant brought her a cup of tea, she said, "I'm not feeling too bright today." She must have been under medical supervision, but at 2 a.m. the next morning, she was taken to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
Here's a shot of the front entrance.
On Saturday February 9, her son Lord Linley and daughter Lady Sarah Chatto were with her when she died, peacefully in her sleep, at 6:30 a.m. Later that day, her body was taken by hearse, in a coffin draped in her Royal Standard, to her apartment in Kensington Palace.
On Sunday, my buddy and Findadeath.com friend Ryan and I decided to go on a Findadeath hunt. My camera was acting up, so some of these photographs came out lousy. First we went through St. James's Park, and got this view of Buckingham Palace, with the flag at half mast.
It wasn't the Royal Standard, because the Queen wasn't home yet. After that, we ventured to St. James's Palace, to see the condolence register.
Now remember, when Diana died, the lineup was 12 hours to sign the things. That day, nothing. Ten books, no waiting. A newscaster described it as "a steady trickle of people," another just said that "numbers have showed up." First we had to go through metal detectors, and had to put all our pocket contents into plastic bags.
Souvenirs I will treasure.
We entered the palace (photography prohibited) and were shown to a room with the books. I ponied up to one, but was really at a loss for what to write. I didn't want to be a hypocrite and write some nonsense, so I signed it "Findadeath.com PO Box 20730 London N1 OHR". I feel sane, knowing that Findadeath is somewhere in the Royal Archives. Unless someone crossed it off. Here's Ryan, leaving the palace after the signings.
A couple of people wrote to me, going on about some face in the window to the left of the photograph of Ryan leaving St. James's. I have yet to see it, personally. And I've looked pretty hard. Ryan himself responds, "I can't see the face in the window. What is everyone on about? If it was dear old Margot, then we would be able to tell from the cigarette hanging from her mouth."
So there you are.
When we left, we saw these photographers waiting for SOMETHING to happen.
We went around back, to get a picture of the Chapel, where Margaret would soon be placed. It was under construction, so it looked like this.
Not like when Diana died, and it looked like this.
Here's a guard that was there on Sunday.
We made our way to the Kensington Palace next, passing by a group of Palestine demonstrators outside the embassy. Kensington, well, there could have been tumbleweeds. Nothing there to speak of. Here's a horrid pic of where Margaret's body was on that day.
There were some flowers, but... again, I hate to keep putting this all in Diana perspective, but here you go. She just wasn't well liked. Here are close ups of the flowers, and some person leaving them.
Here's something interesting about Kensington Palace. In November of 1998 - they found a girl floating in the pond, just a few yards from the palace. She'd been floating there for two weeks, and no one saw it. I hold Margaret personally responsible. No particular reason, I just do.
On Monday the 12th, The Queen went to the apartment at Kensington Palace, to say her own private goodbye to her sister. Later that day, Margaret's body was taken from Kensington Palace,
to the Queen's Chapel at St. James's Palace.
The hearse was led by two pipers playing The Skye Boat Song. The police escorted hearse did the 12 minute journey during rush hour. Now, was there a real need to do it then? I mean, she wasn't going anywhere, was she? Hm. One last Royal strop.
Margaret's will stated that she wanted to be cremated, and her ashes rested alongside her father, King George VI. There is only one more full size space available in that crypt, and they've been dusting it off daily, for years now. Ready for you know who. No A List Royal has ever been cremated.
On Thursday, Margaret was moved to Windsor, to St. Georges Chapel, where her father is buried, and her funeral was going to take place, the next afternoon.
Well, the Queen Mother made it to the funeral. Here's the program.
No one knew if she was going to live that long. Apparently she did very well. The A LIST royals showed up (the Queen not pictured).
During the service, the hymns "I Am the Resurrection and the Life," and "When I Survey The Wondrous Cross," picked by the princess herself. Celeb attendees included Judi Dench, Cleo Laine, Nanette Newman and Felicity Kendal.
Afterwards, a simple wreath of pink tulips and white roses was placed on the Princess's coffin from her mother. A piper played a lament as eight soldiers, from the Princess's own regiment, carried her coffin from the chapel.
Her body was driven three and a half miles, to the Slough Crematorium (I'm sure THAT wasn't in her will), where she was cremated later that day, at the cost of £280. No Royals attended. The ashes are now in the Chapel at Windsor Castle, next to her father and The Queen Mother, who died a few weeks after Margaret.
Now for the dirt: Findadeath.com friend Tim Chadwick sends these quotes from Kitty Kelley's book, The Royals. It's already proven that a lot of her quotes are from people who were not credible, but it does make for interesting reading.
Ex hubbie cameraman Lord Snowdon is bisexual (his first choice for best man at their wedding was vetoed cos he was a well known gay who had been arrested for it) they grew to hate each others guts - she was honorary patron of the seas scouts and the old poof used to introduce her to guests by saying "have you met the chief sea scout?"....
She used to laze about on Mustique in the Caribbean with another queen Roddy Llewellyn (Rod's dad said when they got together "it makes a change from Italian waiters" and load of old reprobates including top criminal John Bindon whose party trick was balancing a half pint of beer on his hard on. (I've heard this one several times before Kitty's book was published.)
She walked out of the film "Schindlers List" cos she thought it "anti-german" (royal family are of course German) & said it was "a tedious film about Jews" & advised her butler not to see it...
Discussing India she said she hated "those little brown people"..
She told the Irish-American mayor of Chicago that the Irish were "pigs, all pigs". (This is a famous quote, made shortly after Lord Mountbatten was murdered by the IRA.)
She asked an respected American journalist "Are you a Jew?" when she replied "Yes" she moved on.......
Findadeath.com friend Leigh Parrish sends us this:
The Jewish journalist Princess Margaret ingratiated herself to was none other than Ann Landers.
While on the subject of the late royal pain in the ass, she made a poor impression on the crowd during an appearance at Neiman Marcus in Dallas in the mid-eighties for wearing white shoes after Labor Day (which, by the way, clashed with her dress, which was in another shade of white) and walking around with a lighted cigarette, two sins against etiquette you commit at your own risk here in the South.
She dismissed the President of Guyana as loathsome, "He's everything I despise: he's black, he married a Jew and furthermore he's American........"
She had one good joke: ex-hubbie "Lord" Snowdon was a switch hitter, AC/DC....so she was at this society party in New York and the hostess asked, "How is the Queen?" and Margaret replied, "Which one? my sister, my mother or my husband?"
She was patron of a mentally handicapped children's charity - when visiting one of its establishments she said, "I don't want to meet any daft children."
She was notorious for issuing long and complicated lists of demands on trips and visits to people's houses, not only detailing menus but dictating which specific products should be used. She was a stickler for Malvern water, for whisky, she insisted on Famous Grouse, for gin, Gordon's. She also insisted on "Jammy Dodger" (I LOVE THESE!) biscuits being available, but the jam in them had to be seedless, cos she didn't like seeds sticking in her teeth. No one could sit down at meals before she sat down, or leave before she left. This often proved inconvenient as she liked to stay up till 4.30 in the mornings, frequently regaling guests with her singing. No talking was allowed when she sang.
Such pickiness can easily backfire, however, with potentially nauseating consequences. One instance by Margaret, took place north of the border in the mid-1980s. The center piece of the trip was a banquet at a prestigious hotel which had just hired a new chef. Suitably excited by the prospect of practicing his art for royalty, the chef spent some time putting together his menu before faxing it down to Buckingham Palace for approval. After much to-ing and fro-ing and amending, it was finally agreed and he got to work.
But when the big moment finally arrived, Princess Margaret instructed hotel staff to inform the kitchen that she did not want any food other than an orange, halved and segmented. As the news was broken to the chef a red mist descended over him. With the words "If she wants an orange, I'll give her a fucking orange," he picked up the fruit, halved it, and stuck both pieces down his pants, giving them a good shake before placing them on a plate. The dish was then served to Her Royal Highness, who ate it without comment.
And there you are. That's Margaret. I'll sum this up with a few quotes from people I know.
"I'm deeply shocked and saddened by the death of this cruel, self-centered old lush. My thoughts go out to those who knew and liked her, whoever that person may be."
"The thing with her was she got money from the taxpayers of the UK to live her hedonistic lifestyle. IMHO, the Royal Family are all leeches. One less. is no loss."
One last trivia bit, courtesy of Popbitch: "A nurse who tended Princess Margaret through her final months reveals that the ailing Royal's main source of comfort was watching endless re-runs of the Batman TV show."
I know there are some of you dying to send me stuff about her relationships, but I ask you, please don't. Those stories are all well documented, and can be found elsewhere. Please try to understand the volume of email I receive. It's really difficult to keep up with it. Thanks so much. xx