Wild-But-True Stories About The Royal Rebel, Princess Margaret

When it comes to royal “spares,” the exploits of Prince Harry are tame compared to those of his great aunt Princess Margaret. The original royal party animal, this beautiful disaster delighted the tabloids and frustrated her prestigious institution in equal measure. From her legendarily acidic tongue to her torrid romances, and from her undying love of boozing and smoking to her doomed marriage, she wasn’t short of wild-but-true stories. We’ve gathered the best of them in one explosive article: read on if you dare!

Her morning routine was absurd

Most morning routines involve people dragging themselves out of bed at 7: 00 a.m. to shower as quickly as possible, before mainlining some coffee and dashing out to work. Margaret played things a little differently, though. Her leisurely mornings reportedly consisted of breakfast in bed at 9: 00 a.m., followed by chain-smoking while she browsed the newspapers for a couple of hours.

Her maid then drew a bath, before doing Margaret’s hair and makeup. She’d then make it down the stairs just in time for lunch at 12:30 p.m. — with a splash of vodka to pick up her spirits!

She hated her mom’s castle — and made sure to tell her 

In 1952 Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother bought the Castle of Mey in Scotland and set about restoring it to its former glory. She subsequently lived there for three weeks of every year in August, followed by ten days in October.

Margaret wasn’t a fan, though, and she didn’t keep it to herself! The only time she ever came to visit, she spat, “I can’t think why you have such a horrible place,” to which her mother simply quipped, “Well darling, you needn’t come again.”

A biographer joked that she had a “royal strain of Tourette syndrome”

Margaret’s propensity for saying the most hurtful thing she could think of to anyone that crossed her path became the stuff of legend over the years. Ma'am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret author Craig Brown wrote that after a few drinks “her rudeness knew no bounds.”

He continued, “It was almost as though, early in life, she had contracted a peculiarly royal strain of Tourette syndrome, causing the sufferer to be seized by the unstoppable urge to say the first thing that came into her head, just so long as it was sufficiently unpleasant.”

The artistic people with whom she loved to associate didn’t actually like her

Margaret loved to surround herself with creative people — artists, writers, musicians, and actors — but they reportedly didn’t think much of her. In Ma’am Darling, Brown wrote, “The assembled bohemians… would kowtow to her royal highness while she was present and then make fun of her the moment she left, mimicking her general ignorance, her cackhanded opinions, her lofty put-downs, her absurd air of entitlement.”

In essence, Margaret was simply a prop. Brown explained, “The presence of the princess would endow a party with grandeur; her departure would be the signal for mimicry to commence.”