I became interested in Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister, after watching the Netflix series The Crown.
So when I discovered Lady Anne Glenconner’s book Lady in Waiting:My Life in the Shadow of the Crown, I was delighted.
One morning at the beginning of 2019, Lady Anne Glenconner’s phone rang.
“Lady Genconner? It’s Helena Bonham Carter.”
The actress asked if she could visit Lady Anne who’d been lady in waiting to Princess Margaret for 30 years to get some insights into what Princess Margaret was like as Carter was going to be portraying her in the upcoming season of The Crown. Since Princess Margaret was a chain smoker, Carter wanted to know how she smoked:
“It’s rather like a Chinese tea ceremony: she would take her long cigarette holder out of her bag and carefully put the cigarette in, always lighting it herself with one of her beautiful lighters. She hated it when others offered to light if for her, and when any man eagerly advanced, she would make a small but definite gesture with her hand to make it quite clear.”
Helena Bonham Carter’s hand moved just the tiniest bit, as if to test out the movement.
This encounter started Lady Anne on thinking about her childhood, including time spent with the princesses and the 30 years she had been Lady in Waiting. She was not only Princess Margaret’s lady in waiting, they were dear friends, even though one called the other Ma’am. So she decided to write a book, and a fascinating book it is!