Princess Margaret was one of the most fascinating royals in history, a free-spirited girl trapped by the “stuffy” confines of the Royal Family.
She led a wild and exciting life, from her party-fuelled twenties to her affair with a married man and eventually marrying a bisexual “womaniser” husband with a secret love child.
Often overshadowed by her sister, Queen Elizabeth, rebellious Margaret’s story is being retold in a new BBC documentary – Princess Margaret: Royal Rebel.
Exploring the Princess’ topical, intriguing and poignant life, the documentary lifts a lid on her secret party nights.
Margaret’s wild nights were a known thing in the sixties, spending her nights drinking, dancing and enjoying London’s emerging nightlife.
Spilling details about the Princess, who passed away in 2002, is her childhood friend and Lady in Waiting, Lady Anne Glenconner.
“She was this liberating figure for young women,” says Lady Anne, “there were parties every weekend.”
Talking affectionately about the Princess in tonight’s episode, she continues: “She was a real night bird, we would end up going out in groups, maybe 400 of you to dance.”
“She loved being the centre of attention and we’d all stand around the piano and she’d play.”
Dancing and singing aside, the young women’s nights were also filled with flirting, with Lady Anne revealing that Margaret had “different boyfriends” and that “she loved men”.
Speaking candidly on the documentary, Lady Anne also reveals: “There was a bit of snogging, heavy petting, shall we say, but we didn’t sleep with them… we were far too frightened.”
In the sixties, Margaret got a name for herself as a party princess, a heavy drinker, chain smoker and lover of the Beatles and Mick Jagger.
Sharing more details about Margaret’s love life, her husband, Lord Snowdon’s biographer Anne De Courcy also appears on the BBC show.
“Lots of these young men were madly in love with her,” she states boldly, “she was always surrounded by men.”
“She was expected to marry young men with titles, but I just felt that they weren’t interesting to her. She liked artistic things.”
But the documentary has a poignant side, exploring the young princess who appeared to be trapped by her royal life and was stopped from marrying the man she loved.
Princess was not granted the education she is said to have “deserved”, being taught by a French governess while her sister, Queen Elizabeth, received tutoring from scholars of Eton and Oxford.
Talking about the dynamic between her and Elizabeth, Margaret once said, “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 as wicked as hell.”
The second part of Royal Rebel airs next Tuesday, covering the Mustique years and the breakdown of her marriage to Anthony Armstrong Jones.