PRINCESS MARGARET'S AFFAIR
Did Margaret and Tony fight in front of the family and staff?
A: THEY DID
But Robert Lacey writes in The Crown 2: “Arguing in front of other people came to be something of a Snowdon performance – it was as if the pair took pleasure in it. That summer they got into an argument at the home of Margaret’s friend Judy Montagu in Rome, where Tony climbed out of a window and took refuge on the roof, shouting, ‘It’s the only place I can get away from her.’”
Did Margaret want to cut Tony off from the family after they split?
But what is known is that Tony continued to be the Queen’s preferred photographer, and continued to take portraits of members of the royal family, including Diana after their divorce, suggesting the split was amicable.
Did Tony also have indiscreet affairs?
A: YES, LOTS OF THEM
Including before they even wed. In 2004 a DNA test revealed that Tony was the biological father of Polly Fry, the daughter of his close friends Camilla and Jeremy Fry, who was born in 1960 – three weeks into Margaret and Tony’s honeymoon. Then in 1969, he embarked on an affair with Lady Jacqueline Rufus-Isaacs, which reportedly upset the princess greatly. “The flings used to upset her a lot. She had some too, but never as long as his. They weren’t revenge affairs, she just wanted to feel desired,” says Tony’s biographer Anne de Courcy. Tony was also rumoured to be bisexual – something he never denied. “I didn’t fall in love with boys, but a few men have been in love with me,” he apparently said about the rumours.
Did Margaret flee to Scotland to escape her unhappy marriage?
A: SHE DID!
Margaret was known to stay at her friend Colin Tennant’s estate, Glen House in Scotland. It was here that she met Roddy Llewellyn for the first time. “I remember being on the doorstep when Colin drove back and Princess Margaret and Roddy were sitting in the back seat. They were more or less holding hands and I thought, ‘Heavens, what have we done?’,” friend and lady in waiting Lady Anne Glenconner recalls. “We were actually very pleased [about
the relationship], though the royal household probably weren’t.”
Did Tony use Margaret's affair as an excuse to end the marriage?
A: HE DID
Despite having had his own indiscretions, after Margaret and Roddy were splashed over the front pages of the papers, Tony told her private secretary Lord Napier that he was leaving her. “Oh, I see. Thank you Nigel. I think that’s the best news you’ve ever given me,” Margaret is reported to have responded.
Did Margaret Overdose after roddy disappeared?
According to the Daily Mail, the princess was so distraught after Roddy disappeared for three weeks that she did take an overdose. “This was confirmed to me by one of her closest confidants. ‘Yes, she did take an overdose, although how much it was done to create a drama, I shall never know. Remember, she was a great actress,’” the paper quotes, adding that it took the princess a long time to regain consciousness.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ROYALS
Did he say the royal family needed more money
A: HE DID
During his 1969 Meet the Press interview, Philip was asked by one journalist about reports that the Queen had not had a pay rise in almost 18 years and the royal family’s allowance of £475,000 a year was not stretching as far as it used to. He responded, “We go into the red next year. Now, inevitably, if nothing happens we shall have to – I don’t know, we may have to move into smaller premises.” He was also asked if it was true that the family had been forced to close down certain “large houses” and he replied, “No, not altogether … we had a small yacht which we’ve had to sell and I shall probably have to give up polo fairly soon.”
Did Prince Philip appear on Meet the Press?
A: HE DID
During his tour of North America, the Duke of Edinburgh was interviewed on the long-running American news program in an episode broadcast on November 9, 1969. Sitting alongside host Lawrence E. Spivak, Prince Philip answered questions such as why the British monarch had survived while so many others in Europe had not, and what he thought of The Beatles. The prince declared himself a fan. “I think they’ve done a tremendous job and they write some marvellous tunes,” he said.
Was the royal family, in fact, running out of money?
It is uncertain whether Prince Philip’s claim that the royal family would “go into the red” was a joke or an accurate appraisal of their financial situation. The latter is possible because from 1971 onwards, it was agreed that there would be a review of civil list payments – the amount the government used to pay the monarch in order for them to carry out their official duties – every 10 years to factor in inflation. Previously, the payments were set at the start of a monarch’s reign, and by 1969, when Philip appeared on Meet the Press, that amount had been in place since Elizabeth took the throne in 1952.
Did the astronauts have colds?
A: ALMOST TRUE
In The Crown’s Season 3 episode ‘Moon Dust’, the three astronauts are suffering from ill-health during their royal visit. There’s an element of truth to this. On the day of the visit, Neil Armstrong had come down with a terrible head cold, so severe he considered passing on Buckingham Palace.
“He thought about cancelling a visit to Buckingham Palace, but his wife Jan had other ideas,” explain historians Francis French and Colin Burgess.
“She told me that if I had to be embalmed, we were going to see the palace. She wanted to see the place,’ Neil recalled.”
Was Prince Philip a fan?
While it’s true the astronauts met with the royal family, the suggestion Philip was starstruck when they came to Buckingham Palace is merely that of showrunner Peter Morgan. “Peter has taken this angle that Philip gets very absorbed by the heroism of these men compared to what maybe he hasn’t done with his own life,” says Tobias Menzies. “That’s what’s very interesting about the show: he takes surprising bits of history and then views the characters through the prism of those events. That was really fun to do.” Adds Robert Lacey, “It was Peter Morgan’s inspiration to set Philip’s relatively late-life religious awakening – sometime in his mid-to-late 40s – into the context of men landing on the moon.”
Did the royals have a Moon viewing party?
A: IT’S LIKELY
The moon landing was the biggest event in the world, with around 600 million people tuning in to the live satellite footage. And when the astronauts visited the palace, Princess Anne and Princes Andrew and Edward were on hand, suggesting they were interested in the first men to walk on the moon.
“Back in February 1962 Prime Minister Harold Macmillan had arrived at Buckingham Palace for his regular Tuesday night audience to find the Queen engrossed in the BBC radio commentary of US astronaut John Glenn’s historic first circling of the earth. The retro-rockets had just been fired and, after a perfunctory greeting, Elizabeth turned her attention back to the radio. Macmillan made an attempt to revert to business, but soon realised that the cause was hopeless. ‘I think we might as well listen, Ma’am,’ said the Prime Minister – and his sovereign smiled. They happily agreed to skip the audience,” adds Lacey in The Crown 2.
Did the Queen send a message to the moon?
Queen Elizabeth was among 73 world leaders to send a message to the astronauts, which was carried onto the moon. However, it seems Her Majesty was reluctant to do so.“Her Majesty agrees that this idea is a gimmick and it is not the sort of thing she much enjoys doing, but she certainly would not wish to appear churlish by refusing an invitation which is so obviously well-intentioned,” the Queen’s then private secretary Michael Adeane wrote at the time.
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