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Princess Margaret: A Biography

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"Theo Aronson's latest royal book is a model of what a royal biography should be... The problems of being a princess in today's monarchy are vividly implicit in every page... I found the book eminently readable in an easy style that lends itself to wit and irony..." Elizabeth Longford, The Tablet "A balanced and on the whole generous interpretation of this most elusive of ro "Theo Aronson's latest royal book is a model of what a royal biography should be... The problems of being a princess in today's monarchy are vividly implicit in every page... I found the book eminently readable in an easy style that lends itself to wit and irony..." Elizabeth Longford, The Tablet "A balanced and on the whole generous interpretation of this most elusive of royal characters. Aronson expounds convincingly the almost intolerable pressures to which a woman of intelligence and character must find herself subjected when entrapped in the mesh of royal responsibilities." PHILIP ZIEGLER, Daily Telegraph 'Books of the Year' "Theo Aronson is a practised royal biographer who writes with fluidity... It is good to find royal gossip in which no one is absurdly inflated and no one viciously demeaned." Times Literary Supplement "Aronson's strength is his style: he is an elegant writer who can handle the broad picture and the telling detail." Daily Telegraph Part imperious royal figure, part femme du monde, Princess Margaret spent the greater part of her life torn between meeting the exacting standards of the monarchy and flouting its long-established conventions. She has been described as tragic, unresolved, a royal maverick, a woman of conflict, a princess without a cause. From any viewpoint, she remains the most interesting member of the royal family. Widely praised on its publication in hardback, this is the first detailed, in-depth study of this controversial figure. A respected royal biographer. Theo Aronson is uniquely qualified to tell the Princess's story — from her private and public life. He has been helped by many who know Princess Margaret and has drawn on several new and unfamiliar sources. He has also had the incalculable advantage of several audiences with her, allowing him to incorporate many of her memories, observations and opinions in his book. This is a fresh, frank and highly entertaining account of an always colourful life.


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"Theo Aronson's latest royal book is a model of what a royal biography should be... The problems of being a princess in today's monarchy are vividly implicit in every page... I found the book eminently readable in an easy style that lends itself to wit and irony..." Elizabeth Longford, The Tablet "A balanced and on the whole generous interpretation of this most elusive of ro "Theo Aronson's latest royal book is a model of what a royal biography should be... The problems of being a princess in today's monarchy are vividly implicit in every page... I found the book eminently readable in an easy style that lends itself to wit and irony..." Elizabeth Longford, The Tablet "A balanced and on the whole generous interpretation of this most elusive of royal characters. Aronson expounds convincingly the almost intolerable pressures to which a woman of intelligence and character must find herself subjected when entrapped in the mesh of royal responsibilities." PHILIP ZIEGLER, Daily Telegraph 'Books of the Year' "Theo Aronson is a practised royal biographer who writes with fluidity... It is good to find royal gossip in which no one is absurdly inflated and no one viciously demeaned." Times Literary Supplement "Aronson's strength is his style: he is an elegant writer who can handle the broad picture and the telling detail." Daily Telegraph Part imperious royal figure, part femme du monde, Princess Margaret spent the greater part of her life torn between meeting the exacting standards of the monarchy and flouting its long-established conventions. She has been described as tragic, unresolved, a royal maverick, a woman of conflict, a princess without a cause. From any viewpoint, she remains the most interesting member of the royal family. Widely praised on its publication in hardback, this is the first detailed, in-depth study of this controversial figure. A respected royal biographer. Theo Aronson is uniquely qualified to tell the Princess's story — from her private and public life. He has been helped by many who know Princess Margaret and has drawn on several new and unfamiliar sources. He has also had the incalculable advantage of several audiences with her, allowing him to incorporate many of her memories, observations and opinions in his book. This is a fresh, frank and highly entertaining account of an always colourful life.

30 review for Princess Margaret: A Biography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)

    If you have always wanted to be a princess and live in a palace, perhaps reading this biography might change your mind. Princess Margaret was the younger daughter of King George VI, whom she adored, and Queen Elizabeth (the current Queens's mother) She was sister to Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in England's history, and one supposes both of these girls led a life of charm, wealth, prestige, and honor. Elizabeth went on to becoming queen at her father's death while Margaret went on If you have always wanted to be a princess and live in a palace, perhaps reading this biography might change your mind. Princess Margaret was the younger daughter of King George VI, whom she adored, and Queen Elizabeth (the current Queens's mother) She was sister to Elizabeth II, the longest reigning monarch in England's history, and one supposes both of these girls led a life of charm, wealth, prestige, and honor. Elizabeth went on to becoming queen at her father's death while Margaret went on to becoming a much maligned jet setter who earned a reputation for being quite controversial in all she did and especially in her choices of men. Forced to give up a man she loved, Peter Townsend, because he was divorced, she eventually married photographer, Antony Armstrong-Jones, had two children and embarked on a road to a very shaky marriage. Later, they divorced and Margaret's name was linked to many other men. Margaret was brash, outspoken, and very often the brunt of newspaper headlines that portrayed her as wanton, snobbish, and impulsive. Margaret once said "It was inevitable, when there are two sisters and one is the Queen, who must be the source of honour and all that is good, while the other must be the focus of the most creative malice, the evil sister." It was often sad to read of Margaret's life. She always seemed to be in the spotlight and many of her remarks and activities were taken out of context. In a way, one might say that Margaret was born before her time. She was a strong advocate of the arts, especially ballet, loved couture clothes, and represented her nation in countless ways. In reality for Princess Margaret being royal, living in a palace, being a Princess was often a nightmare. She handled this role as well as she could with the undeniable ability to be her own person with not a care as to who liked it or not. In the end Margaret paved the way for divorce in the royal family and some think that was her legacy. Thank you to Theo Aronson, Thistle Publishing, and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    *TUDOR^QUEEN* (on hiatus)

    Being an Anglophile and an avid reader of English Royalty biographies, I was immediately drawn to this one of Princess Margaret. I have often read of her unfortunate dashed hopes of marrying divorcee Captain Peter Townsend, but have never read an entire biography of Princess Margaret's life until this one. It is very well-written and had me solidly engaged for days. It begins with her parents' eventual marriage, of which took three proposals for her mother to accept. It was enchanting reading abo Being an Anglophile and an avid reader of English Royalty biographies, I was immediately drawn to this one of Princess Margaret. I have often read of her unfortunate dashed hopes of marrying divorcee Captain Peter Townsend, but have never read an entire biography of Princess Margaret's life until this one. It is very well-written and had me solidly engaged for days. It begins with her parents' eventual marriage, of which took three proposals for her mother to accept. It was enchanting reading about Princess Margaret's childhood, with the lovely homes she occupied, the doting and dedicated help that taught and cared for her, and the very close and loving family the King and Queen and her older sister Princess Elizabeth enjoyed. It also covers how Princesses Margaret and Elizabeth as children experienced World War II in England and the challenges that entailed. As she grew into adulthood, the huge scandal of her wish to marry divorcee Captain Peter Townsend garners much discussion, as well as her eventual marriage to photographer Tony Armstrong-Jones (later known as Lord Snowden). These are the widely known relationships of Princess Margaret, but this book covers several other serious romantic entanglements and very close friendships. The book offered an excellent and very detailed overview of Princess Margaret's life. The only reason I took off one star was that it clearly was not updated since it was originally published in hardcover form in 1997. I know that Princess Margaret passed away in 2002, yet it only covers some hospitalizations for strokes as the book comes to a close. In fact, I was unaware that I had just finished the book, expecting to read of her death and details of her funeral (which would have been very interesting). Still, I would highly recommend this fine book on the life of Princess Margaret. I graciously received this ebook from NetGalley in return for my honest review.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

    I was a kid in the mid-70s, and Princess Margaret was a frequent cover girl on the grocery store checkout line scandal sheets. Growing up in the US, all I knew about Princess Margaret was that she was an older woman with a very young boyfriend. Remember, this was *before* the era of Princess Diana, when the paparazzi following and documenting every royal wasn't a "thing" yet. So, the life of Princess Margaret was somewhat of a mystery -- to me, and to many others (I'd assume). Theo Aronson's book I was a kid in the mid-70s, and Princess Margaret was a frequent cover girl on the grocery store checkout line scandal sheets. Growing up in the US, all I knew about Princess Margaret was that she was an older woman with a very young boyfriend. Remember, this was *before* the era of Princess Diana, when the paparazzi following and documenting every royal wasn't a "thing" yet. So, the life of Princess Margaret was somewhat of a mystery -- to me, and to many others (I'd assume). Theo Aronson's book paints a balanced portrait of the Princess. It's not overly gushy, nor is it overly critical. The Princess, like most human beings, was a complex character -- more so due to her station in life and her upbringing. It was that period of the 20th century where women, especially those in Princess Margaret's social class, weren't really expected to do much more than look pretty and marry well. Margaret was certainly pretty, but as the book tells it, never managed to find happiness in matrimony. The book examines her doomed relationship with the divorced Group Captain Peter Townsend, which caused a scandal after the couple expressed a desire to marry. Aronson, like many others, believes that even if Margaret and Townsend had been able to marry, the marriage (like all of her romantic relationships) would have eventually failed -- because she was a royal princess and that lifestyle comes with benefits and expectations that she could not (or would not) give up, not even for love. Even if she'd married some European prince, she would most likely still married beneath her station. In a way, this book is sort of a "poor little rich girl" homage to a woman who held a very unique position. She was a ranking member of the Royal Family, but didn't really have a firmly defined role within it. She wasn't as duty-conscious as The Queen, or as genial and open as the Queen Mother. Princess Margaret could be cold, standoffish, and incredibly rude. The book details stories of how she'd outright ignore people over some real or perceived slight. One such incident was at a dinner party when the Princess was visiting California. Governor Gerry Brown and his then-girlfriend, the singer Linda Ronstadt were in attendance. Ms. Ronstadt came over to the table where Gov. Brown and Princess Margaret were sitting, and she put one hand on Brown's shoulder and one on the shoulder of the Princess. Princess Margaret was so incensed by the breach of protocol (never touch a Royal without an invitation to do so) that she shrugged her shoulder so hard that Ronstadt was thrown off balance and fell to the floor; all the while Princess Margaret kept a straight face and acted like nothing was amiss. Many of the friends who shared their stories in the book said that even if Margaret liked someone, that didn't mean they were safe from a rebuke or reprimand if she felt they'd overstepped their bounds. Princess Margaret may have had her detractors, but she very aware of who she was and what she represented. Even if she didn't always enjoy it. The book reveals that Margaret rarely gathered with the rest of the extended Royal Family at their traditional retreats at Balmoral or Sandringham. She'd put in an appearance and then she'd be jetting off to her home in the Caribbean or sailing the Mediterranean on a yacht with friends. With every movement (or scandal) of the British Royal Family now covered in magazines, television, and the internet, it's hard to believe there was a time when it wasn't like that. When it was all a carefully crafted fairy tale. Aronson's book offers a glimpse behind the curtain and shows that life for one royal princess wasn't much of a fairy tale at all.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Goddard

    The best thing about this book is the writing style. It's easy to read, moves quickly, and is lively. Aronson interviewed Princess Margaret, so her own delightful comments are added in many sections. Like many biographies, it focuses (disproportionately, in my opinion) on her love life at the expense of her work as a patron and as a mother. Finishing it, though, I felt oddly dissatisfied. Like I didn't really know her all that well, at least not beyond what I already knew from popular culture. Th The best thing about this book is the writing style. It's easy to read, moves quickly, and is lively. Aronson interviewed Princess Margaret, so her own delightful comments are added in many sections. Like many biographies, it focuses (disproportionately, in my opinion) on her love life at the expense of her work as a patron and as a mother. Finishing it, though, I felt oddly dissatisfied. Like I didn't really know her all that well, at least not beyond what I already knew from popular culture. This might because she was, like her mother, intensely private. It felt at the end like I'd just sat through a formal afternoon tea interview with Princess Margaret where she talked and talked and at the end you knew a lot about her, but only certain parts of her. She only reveals certain parts, the most formal parts. Like you're sitting in one fancy room of her house but you never really go behind the scenes. You don't really know what she's like when the cameras are off and she's alone. Enjoyable and definitely a pleasurable read, though.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Susan Snodgrass

    This was very well done and very informative, but a bit on the disappointing side. I saw the year of publication was 2013; however, it would appear it was originally written before Princess Margaret's death since the author stops before that event. That was a bit disappointing to me. I thought it was a biography of her entire life. I love this auth*or's royal biographies, though; He is very thorough. *I received a copy of this book via Net Galley. This was very well done and very informative, but a bit on the disappointing side. I saw the year of publication was 2013; however, it would appear it was originally written before Princess Margaret's death since the author stops before that event. That was a bit disappointing to me. I thought it was a biography of her entire life. I love this auth*or's royal biographies, though; He is very thorough. *I received a copy of this book via Net Galley.

  6. 4 out of 5

    E

    This book answered any questions I had about the life of Princess Margaret, I found it to be well written and informative. I couldn't tear myself away from this book and I would recommend it to any interested in learning more about this remarkable woman. This book answered any questions I had about the life of Princess Margaret, I found it to be well written and informative. I couldn't tear myself away from this book and I would recommend it to any interested in learning more about this remarkable woman.

  7. 5 out of 5

    C.S. Burrough

    Princess Margaret was, when I was growing up, the royal rebel people cheered on. As much a '60s icon as The Beatles or the miniskirt, she was always up to some exotic mischief, usually in some scorching Caribbean place and more often than not with the wrong man. My parents' generation (Margaret's slightly elder peers), and their own parents, had a soft spot for this princess whose personal dreams never came true. 'Poor Maggie,' was a common catchcry whenever she made tabloid headlines with yet a Princess Margaret was, when I was growing up, the royal rebel people cheered on. As much a '60s icon as The Beatles or the miniskirt, she was always up to some exotic mischief, usually in some scorching Caribbean place and more often than not with the wrong man. My parents' generation (Margaret's slightly elder peers), and their own parents, had a soft spot for this princess whose personal dreams never came true. 'Poor Maggie,' was a common catchcry whenever she made tabloid headlines with yet another scandal. Theo Aronson tells another side of the public's ideas on her – how she earned widespread disapproval and media condemnation, not to mention much high Establishment tut-tutting. This the author qualifies with anecdotes which are entertaining, if not as thoroughly sourced as this reader would have liked (a good proportion of these could have been plucked from the air just to amuse). That much of the content is, conversely, very well documented, leaves the reader sceptical over quotes by so many unnamed people, e.g. 'family friend', 'guest at the event' , 'high ranking official', etc. Of course, this also adds to the sense of intrigue we have come to expect from juicy royal biographies, yet this glaring feature places parts of the work more into the gutter press bundle than the authorised, legitimate one. Indeed, certain passages degenerate to gossip level, cheapening the overall effect. That said, this is, for the most part, an entertaining and well written piece, even with workmanship notably weaker in some parts than others. Like his subject, Aronson is often a split case – sycophantic in many of his praises of Margaret, whilst vitriolic in some of his judgements and criticisms. This extremist swinging to and fro, between kindness and harshness, whilst matching perfectly the woman of whom he writes, lends the work a hyperbolic quality. The author seems in parts to defend his contentious subject to the hilt, whilst in others viciously slapping her beautiful face (curious, given that the princess was still alive at the time of this book's publication to read it). Even so, I was compelled to read on. Here was arguably the last grand royal princess, cavorting around with the louche arts and pop communities, often a maverick at odds with her status, often hysterically funny and theatrical, yet equally often a diva of the most pompous, imperious kind imaginable. There was simply no predicting which of these polar-opposite split characters she would be. As if she had a deeply set identity crisis. Just as there is never any predicting which route this author will take when relaying some episode – will it be compassionate or condemnatory? This shifting objectivity and judgement I found disconcerting yet interesting. Like Diana who followed, this princess gave the monarchy that much needed humane element by being an openly flawed and self-contradictory figure we all related to at some level. She was brave, tragic, spoilt, vulnerable, mercurial, dutiful, extravagant, haughty, cynical, catty ... yet when it boiled down to it bore the capacity to be infinitely kinder, more personally loyal and more down to earth than many royals we read of – it all depended on who you asked and which occasion it related to. I enjoyed this lightweight read. Though it could surely doubtful ever be considered the definitive work of its kind on this princess, I highly recommend it to the diehard royal biography buff.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Fawcett

    I have recently been reading William Shawcross's edited diaries of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, divided into three volumes relating to the various stages of her life: Duchess of York, Queen and Queen Mother. At some stage, I will read his biography. However, I decided, on the basis of references to the late Princess Margaret, to read this biography before that of her mother. Born into a life of immense privilege, Margaret was an indulged, spoilt child, quite the opposite of her elder siste I have recently been reading William Shawcross's edited diaries of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, divided into three volumes relating to the various stages of her life: Duchess of York, Queen and Queen Mother. At some stage, I will read his biography. However, I decided, on the basis of references to the late Princess Margaret, to read this biography before that of her mother. Born into a life of immense privilege, Margaret was an indulged, spoilt child, quite the opposite of her elder sister. An idyllic childhood came to a halt at the time of the abdication of Edward VIII. The York family was catapulted into the foreground, the Duke of York became King and Margaret's elder sister, Elizabeth, heir presumptive, then heir apparent. On the premature death of George VI, Elizabeth became Queen. The wilful Margaret, beautiful and intelligent, began to embark on a hedonistic lifestyle. Her ill-fated romance with Group Captain Peter Townsend was deemed to pose a significant threat to a Monarchy recovering from the Abdication crisis and World War Two. Much was made of the fact that she gave up the man she loved, at great personal sacrifice, yet Margaret could never have countenanced the life of a private citizen, imbued as she was with her life of privilege, an income from the Civil List, servants at her beck and call. Throughout the years, her disastrous love affairs, broken marriage, imperious manner and the perfunctory manner in which she performed any Royal duties did nothing to endear her to the public, at home and abroad. Behaviour that can almost be endearing in a young, beautiful but precocious child does not sit well with age. Her life has been described as 'tragic...a life unfulfilled' and we wonder where a beautiful, intelligent women lost her way in life. In this regard, Theo Aronson pulls no punches. His is no syrupy, grovelling account of the life of Princess Margaret. Whilst we may feel a degree of sympathy for her at times throughout the narrative, we might find her difficult to like. it was with some sense of relief that I finished this book. No matter what difficulties Princess Margaret may have encountered throughout her life, the potential to adopt a different course was never far away. I am reminded of the adage: 'We are not victims of circumstance; we are children of choices.'

  9. 5 out of 5

    Inga

    Theo Aronson has written a very thorough and enjoyable history of Princess Margaret's life. Starting from her birth at Glamis castle in an era when Britain was an empire and the royal family exclusive and steeped in tradition, Aronson follows Margaret through her childhood, her uncle's abdication, WWII, her sisters marriage, her early popularity and lifestyle, her doomed affair with Peter Townsend, failed marriage to Armstrong-Jones, motherhood and search for happiness and purpose. Aronson does Theo Aronson has written a very thorough and enjoyable history of Princess Margaret's life. Starting from her birth at Glamis castle in an era when Britain was an empire and the royal family exclusive and steeped in tradition, Aronson follows Margaret through her childhood, her uncle's abdication, WWII, her sisters marriage, her early popularity and lifestyle, her doomed affair with Peter Townsend, failed marriage to Armstrong-Jones, motherhood and search for happiness and purpose. Aronson does not gloss over Princess Margaret's faults, they are mentioned, such as her haughtiness, untimeliness and her inflated sense of grandiosity. It does however also paint a picture of a woman who was born into unusual circumstances at a time when society was changing rapidly and the importance of people like her perhaps diminishing. Overall I very much enjoyed reading about Princess Margaret's life. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley only a few weeks. Therefore I was surprised that the book dealt with its subject as if Princess Margaret was still alive and did not cover her death in 2002. I do feel it would have made more sense to update the book before republication.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Louise

    I've always been fascinated by Princess Margaret and this book didn't let me down. As a young woman, she was undoubtedly stunningly beautiful and had the love life that unfortunately follows great beauty. In complete contrast to Queen Elizabeth, her sister, life was a long roller coaster and she was everything her sister was not. I enjoyed reading about the hypocrisy she showed to Princess Diana and the Duchess of York whom she believed to have brought shame on to the royal family! I would have lik I've always been fascinated by Princess Margaret and this book didn't let me down. As a young woman, she was undoubtedly stunningly beautiful and had the love life that unfortunately follows great beauty. In complete contrast to Queen Elizabeth, her sister, life was a long roller coaster and she was everything her sister was not. I enjoyed reading about the hypocrisy she showed to Princess Diana and the Duchess of York whom she believed to have brought shame on to the royal family! I would have liked to read about the more controversial side of her life and an update to include the details of her death would be a great addition. The book references the Princess' failing health in the concluding chapters and it leaves the reader wondering exactly how and where she died. An informative, balanced and fair biography written by Theo Aronson, about one of the most controversial royals ever. His insights are partially personal or from sources linked very close to the princess and can be relied upon completely., I was kindly sent this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    I was looking for a book that would give me more insight into the life of Princess Margaret. This fit the bill. I feel like it was a pretty fair account of her life as opposed to the tabloid fare that typically covered the life & time of Princess Margaret. This wraps it up neatly: "Despite her faults, or indeed because of them, she has been the most interesting member of the contemporary British royal family. Defiant, unapologetic, yet curiously vulnerable, she has at least lived life to the ful I was looking for a book that would give me more insight into the life of Princess Margaret. This fit the bill. I feel like it was a pretty fair account of her life as opposed to the tabloid fare that typically covered the life & time of Princess Margaret. This wraps it up neatly: "Despite her faults, or indeed because of them, she has been the most interesting member of the contemporary British royal family. Defiant, unapologetic, yet curiously vulnerable, she has at least lived life to the full, and on her own terms. She might, at times, have been her own worst enemy but she was always controversial, always charismatic, never dull. The royal scene would be distinctly less colourful without her."

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    Princess Margaret: A Biography by Theo Aronson is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early June. Being introduced to a facsimile of HRH Princess Margaret in Netflix' The Crown and the real Margaret during her biting observations in Elizabeth at 90: A Family Portrait, I was delighted to learn more about her in Aronson's biography. She is indeed an outgoing, fashionable, witty woman who is loyal to her friends and family, and loves to travel, sing, drink, smoke, and attend parties, but is also s Princess Margaret: A Biography by Theo Aronson is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early June. Being introduced to a facsimile of HRH Princess Margaret in Netflix' The Crown and the real Margaret during her biting observations in Elizabeth at 90: A Family Portrait, I was delighted to learn more about her in Aronson's biography. She is indeed an outgoing, fashionable, witty woman who is loyal to her friends and family, and loves to travel, sing, drink, smoke, and attend parties, but is also stubborn, unpredictable, and somewhat prone to heartbreak and betrayal.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    This was well-researched. At times throughout the narrative; however, the tense changed and it was difficult to tell whether Princess Margaret was still living or not (although from the publication date, she was). The fact that she was alive at the time of publication was finally made clear by the rather troublesome ending. In fact, my main complaint is that the ending felt rushed...as if they were hurrying to get this into print before she did pass. That put a sad, rather hollow spin on the end This was well-researched. At times throughout the narrative; however, the tense changed and it was difficult to tell whether Princess Margaret was still living or not (although from the publication date, she was). The fact that she was alive at the time of publication was finally made clear by the rather troublesome ending. In fact, my main complaint is that the ending felt rushed...as if they were hurrying to get this into print before she did pass. That put a sad, rather hollow spin on the end. An update could remedy that.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Flora

    This biography on Princess Margaret was well written and kept me reading from cover to cover. It gave a very good overview of her life and relationships as a princess and as a young woman who had all the privileges in life. My only complaint is that no effort was made at all to update it - there were a few sentences in the book that made it sound as though Princess Margaret is still alive and it does not end in the Princess' death. I may have given 5 stars instead of 3 if it had been brought up t This biography on Princess Margaret was well written and kept me reading from cover to cover. It gave a very good overview of her life and relationships as a princess and as a young woman who had all the privileges in life. My only complaint is that no effort was made at all to update it - there were a few sentences in the book that made it sound as though Princess Margaret is still alive and it does not end in the Princess' death. I may have given 5 stars instead of 3 if it had been brought up to date. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    I was fascinated with her while watching "The Crown" and so I picked this up...it wasn't too revealing in terms of what I knew about her growing up and following the royal family...and it wasn't updated. this edition was published in 2013 and she died in 2002 and it just ends with her doing her party thing and getting illnesses from all the smoking and drinking. It's also a sanitized version...carefully vetted by the Palace, I think. There's a new book about her in the UK, but it's a crazy pre-o I was fascinated with her while watching "The Crown" and so I picked this up...it wasn't too revealing in terms of what I knew about her growing up and following the royal family...and it wasn't updated. this edition was published in 2013 and she died in 2002 and it just ends with her doing her party thing and getting illnesses from all the smoking and drinking. It's also a sanitized version...carefully vetted by the Palace, I think. There's a new book about her in the UK, but it's a crazy pre-order thing on amazon for 40 bucks. If anyone wants to pop over to London to get it, let me know.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Nicki

    I gave up on this book. I wanted a biography of Princess Margaret--not a detailed account of everything, everyone, and every place in her family going back two generations. I made into section two, with some skimming, and I just could not take it anymore. If, like me, you were hoping to learn more about Princess Margaret, do yourself a favor and look ELSEWHERE. I wish I could get my money back from Amazon.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Donna Boultwood

    After watching The Crown I was fascinated by Princess Margaret's story. I feel so sad that she wasn't allowed to marry the man she loved. That seemed to be the turning point in her life. Her story was perhaps overshadowed in later life by Princess Diana. Heavy reading at times but an interesting read. After watching The Crown I was fascinated by Princess Margaret's story. I feel so sad that she wasn't allowed to marry the man she loved. That seemed to be the turning point in her life. Her story was perhaps overshadowed in later life by Princess Diana. Heavy reading at times but an interesting read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    A fast paced book with lots of enjoyable quotes. Factual rather than gossipy. Lots of history included. A truly enjoyable biography. A great deal of sources cited which adds credibility. Enjoy! NetGalley and Thistle Publishing provided an advanced review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Call it 3.5*. Perfectly functional bio of Princess Margaret, completed shortly before her death. In some ways, it never gets below the surface. Sometimes she was kind, sometimes she used her cutting wit unkindly. Many of examples of each are given, but not much to help us understand why that might be the case. There's some sympathy for her, but no sense of any emotional core. Call it 3.5*. Perfectly functional bio of Princess Margaret, completed shortly before her death. In some ways, it never gets below the surface. Sometimes she was kind, sometimes she used her cutting wit unkindly. Many of examples of each are given, but not much to help us understand why that might be the case. There's some sympathy for her, but no sense of any emotional core.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katelin

    Princess Margaret's story is something we'll never know the entire truth about no matter how many books have been written about her. This book just barely scratches the surface on her life. She burned letters of correspondence and diaries so even though she was in the spotlight often her life was relatively private. Princess Margaret's story is something we'll never know the entire truth about no matter how many books have been written about her. This book just barely scratches the surface on her life. She burned letters of correspondence and diaries so even though she was in the spotlight often her life was relatively private.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Susan Baker

    Fascinating Couldn't put the book down as it was fascinating to see the real truth behind the stories about Princess Margaret and how different were the lifestyles of her and the Queen. Fascinating Couldn't put the book down as it was fascinating to see the real truth behind the stories about Princess Margaret and how different were the lifestyles of her and the Queen.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Liwen Chao

    Quick and interesting read I thought this book was quite interesting and a quick read. I’m glad it didn’t just focus on Princess Margaret’s personal life, but her royal duties as well.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sonja

    I found her riveting in The Crown and no less riveting on the page. I do think - after reading sundry stories of royal life from various countries and eras - that being royal sounds like an awful, restricting, depressing job. Thank goodness I avoided that fate!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Dale Wyant

    Interested to learn more about this enigmatic woman. Interesting read, but wonder if one could ever really know a royal personality. Tough to be close to the throne, but not actually on it! Sad to think she drank and smoked so much that ended her life to soon.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Rogers

    This biography, written while the Princess was living, is neither fish nor foul. While the author is at pains to include unflattering stories of Margaret, she is hard pressed to hold the royal accountable. There is very little new here.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    An enjoyable, detailed, gossipy read in an elegant style. Lots of things I didn't know about her life included. An enjoyable, detailed, gossipy read in an elegant style. Lots of things I didn't know about her life included.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christine C. Yates

    I enjoyed this book, nice insight to the working of the Royal family and that is what I was interested in. Found Princess Margaret pampered personality fascinating.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Blanca Fernandez

    An okay book, not really engrossing.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Tony Bertram

    Lightweight book about a lightweight character.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kellie Stame

    It was good but not exceptional. I am watching The Crown right now and wanted to learn more about Princess Margaret.I enjoyed reading about her rebellious life but it was boring in parts.

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