Ma’am Darling: Ninety-nine glimpses of Princess Margaret
Fourth Estate, $39.99 hb, 423 pp, 9780008203610
My earliest memory of Princess Margaret is flicking through my grandmother’s copy of The Australian Women’s Weekly and seeing photographs of a middle-aged woman, in huge sunglasses and a colourful kaftan, on a tropical island. I surmised she was famous but did not know why. My grandmother explained, somewhat primly, that she was the queen’s sister and left it at that. To young eyes, the woman in the photographs seemed to be at once gaudy and dowdy. As I grew older, I became increasingly aware of her more bohemian prime, at the same time as she was declining from middle age into a long period of illness and a relatively early death at the age of seventy-one.