Princess Margaret's 'wild' partying explored in BBC documentary as friend reveals 'we all liked to drink'

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
Princess Margaret at a ball, in 1964 (Getty)

Princess Margaret’s love of parties and her glamorous lifestyle has been explored in a BBC documentary.

The second part of Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal aired on 18 September and explored the Queen’s younger sister’s marriage and her later years.

Margaret wed Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960 and the couple went on to have two children, David and Sarah.

The pair embraced the swinging sixties and were known for their very modern lifestyle.

Lady Anne Glenconner, Princess Margaret’s friend and lady-in-waiting, spoke about the changing times and high society parties.

“There was suddenly this explosion and anything went. People had parties with every type of person there.”

“Drugs, of course, fuelled a lot of it.”

“Not that I’m saying Princess Margaret took drugs, or I never did.”

When pressed by the interviewer whether Princess Margaret did, she answered: “I don’t know, I honestly wouldn’t know. I mean, I shouldn’t think so.”

“I rather doubt it because we all liked to drink.”

Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1963 (PA)

Cracks began to show in Margaret and Antony’s marriage in the years that followed and the pair began to lead increasingly separate lives.

In the 1970s, Margaret began to retreat more and more to the Caribbean island of Mustique in an attempt to secure a private life, but her beach parties led to even more press attention.

In 1976, the royal couple announced their separation and their divorce was finalised two years later, earning Margaret negative publicity.

Having been a heavy smoker for most of her life, Margaret’s health deteriorated in the final two decades of her life. She had a lung operation in 1985 and a bout of pneumonia in 1993 and by 2001, had suffered several strokes. She passed away on February 9, 2002, aged 71, from cardiac problems, after suffering another stroke. 

The first episode of Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal aired on September 11, at 9pm, on BBC TWO, with the second part on September 18. 

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