Pretty in the Past: Princess Margaret

Let's all collectively swoon at the ravishing royal...
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Let's all collectively swoon at the ravishing royal...


Elegance personified: Princess Margaret in 1957

With her limpid gaze, sensuous mouth and strong bone structure, Princess Margaret looked more like a Hollywood star than the Queen’s naughty little sister. Incredibly photogenic, whether doing her duty on an overseas tour or sulking in the back of a Daimler (she did a great sulky face), the tabloids couldn’t get enough of her. The public adored her too and came down firmly on her side when wanted to marry Peter Townsend and protocol prevented her.

Strangely she actually looks younger in pictures from the ‘50s than from the preceding decade – something about the austere, post-war hair and make-up of the ‘40s made women look older than their years. The ‘50s was most definitely Margaret’s decade; the opulence suited her - Dior’s full-skirted New Look, all those diamonds and luxurious white furs (bad, I know, but fabulous in black and white snaps.)

She had personality and poise in spades – a flirtatious, almost defiant gaze that captivated the viewer in photographs – and, presumably, in real life. I think she lived life to the full - partying hard, falling in love with unsuitable men, smoking and drinking and generally being a rock 'n' roll royal.

Oh and one more reason that Princess M is great: she was President of Girlguiding UK from 1965 until her death in 2002 and was in what was probably the world's tiniest Brownie pack (the 1st Buckingham Palace Brownies). Cool.

Picture Credit: Rex Features