Book Review - Maam Darling 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret

If you are a fan of The Crown, then you can understand what intrigued me to read the book Ma’am Darling, 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown. During the first two seasons of the acclaimed show, we got to learn a bit more about Princess Margaret Rose. I knew so little about her because, by the time I was born, her public appearances were few and far. But Vanessa Kirby’s character fascinated me and I wanted to learn more about the sassy, stubborn princess.

The last couple of years, I have enjoyed reading biographies more and more. It was only natural to pick the newly released biography of Princess Margaret by Craig Brown. The book is a collection of 99 short stories about Princess Margaret, some real and a few fictional. It was an easy and interesting read, if like me you enjoy biographies.

Princess Margaret - Young Princess Margaret playing the piano
Princess Margaret Rose
Princess Margaret in London

The short stories cover the course of Princess Margaret’s life from her birth till her death. However, I would like to read more stories about her as a mother and the last years of her life. Princess Margaret is portrayed as sassy, stubborn and spoiled. A Princess that from being second in the line to the throne, saw herself going down the line every time a new member of the Royal British Family was born. She was a woman that she held on the only thing she had her royal status. According to the author’s sources, she often referred herself as the daughter of a King, the sister of a Queen. She demanded to be treated according to her royal status and made sure to abruptly correct anyone who didn’t.

Through the book, we learn about her upbringing and how her’s and her sister’s lives changed forever when her uncle abdicated the throne. A great number of stories are dedicated to her love life. From her relationship with Group Captain Peter Townsend, her troubled marriage with husband Antony Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon and her affair with Roddy Llewellyn. Most stories are scattered already published stories from people who have met her during social gatherings and royal engagements. They all agree that she was petite but extremely beautiful. Also, they all thought of her as spoiled, stubborn, entitled and the complete opposite of her sister Queen Elizabeth.

Princess Margaret attends the premiere of the film Captain Horatio Hornblower
Princess Margaret stepping out in London
Princess Margaret taken on her 26th birthday

It was a good read and one that I would recommend to anyone who wants to learn a few more things about who Princess Margaret was. At least, according to the people that met her at some point in her life and the impression she left. Personally, I came to like Princess Margaret more after reading this book and I am looking forward to the next seasons of The Crown and seeing all these stories on the screen. Last but not least, this won’t be the last biography, I intend to read about the English Royal Family. The biographies of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth are high on my reading list. For those interested, a new biography about Meghan Markle will be released shortly before her wedding to Prince Harry.

Princess Margaret on her wedding day
Princess Margaret at a Woman's National Press Club
Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Margaret shaking hands at the Royal Charity premiere of Staircase

image source: Town & Country