Saturday, October 1, 2022

This Royal Is More Popular Than Meghan Markle

Who is the most popular royal?  While Meghan Markle seems to be on the cover of every magazine, another royal is selling out books so fast, even Amazon is struggling to have enough in stock.

The Queen’s late sister is the subject of a new book, Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown. Unlike a biography, this book shares snapshots of the royal’s unorthodox life, including her shocking divorce from Antony Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon.

Born before WWII, Princess Margaret was brought up in a world of order, manners and strict protocol a la “Downton Abbey.” Post-war, after her sister ascended the throne, the Princess embraced change, fun and frivolity. In the 60s and 70s, she holidayed in Mustique, ensuring its popularity even today as a playground of the well-heeled jet set. It was there she embarked on an affair with a much younger man.

Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret starring in wartime Aladdin, 1943. / Photo courtesy Daily Herald Archive at the National Media Museum/Flickr

Margaret was a complex person who drank, smoked, and flirted. And while she exhibited a a very different personality than her sister, Elizabeth II, the two were devoted to each other.

The Princess made John Lennon blush and Marlon Brando tongue-tied. Andy Warhol photographed her. Jack Nicholson offered her cocaine. Gore Vidal revered her. Francis Bacon heckled her. Peter Sellers was madly in love with her. For Pablo Picasso, she was the object of sexual fantasy. She could throw shade better than Cookie from Empire — once even putting famed sharp tongue diva Elizabeth Taylor in her place.

Jeff Seroy, SVP at the book’s publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux, shared:

The combination of stellar reviews literally everywhere for this unique and hilarious book, the joyous word of mouth and — it has to be said — the Netflix series “The Crown”, which introduced a new generation or two of readers to Her Royal Highness — propelledNinety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret onto the bestseller lists, and has the book selling as fast as we can print them. It started even before the official pub date and we’re now in five printings less than two weeks after publication, with more sure to come.

If Markle has any leeway with protocol and expectations, it is Princess Margaret who helped pave the way. The perfect end to a summer read.

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