I am currently reading a book “Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret”, where it is pretty clear that manners really do matter more than being a Princess. The book is a waspy, acerbic biography of the Queen’s sister, and whilst it is a compelling read, it is an uncomfortable read at times, and leaves a strong message that whoever you are, behaving badly has no rewards.
Princess Margaret had the good fortune to be born into a tremendously rich and powerful family. She was royal by birth and had extraordinary good looks. Yet even when she was very young, she demonstrated a vicious tongue: saying hurtful things to others. As she got older, she showed little regard for other people’s needs: always being late; only thinking of herself and treating others with a lack of basic respect. Yet she expected others to treat her with utter respect, given her rank as a royal princess.
By all accounts, even her closest friends were treated badly, and at events would have a rota in place where they all had their turn to speak to her and be insulted. Apparently she particularly enjoyed socialising with well heeled thespians, who would be entertained by her put downs and behind her back, would mimic her. The biography is peppered with plenty of reminiscences from famous people at the time who repeated some of the dreadful behaviour she demonstrated. Within the ‘right’ circles, everyone had a story to share.