Our Rating: ★★★★☆
L Factor: Minor lesbian content
Short Take: Princess Margaret gets real
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2005
Duration: 96 min
Language: UK/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Simon Cellan Jones
Writer: Craig Warner
Starring: Lucy Cohu, Meredith MacNeill, Alex Barclay, Edward Tudor-Pole, James Wallace, Aden Gillett, Douglas Reith, Felicity Montagu, Peggy Batchelor, Peter Gordon, David Threlfall, Michael Elwyn, Bruno Ouvrard, Robert Fitch, Jonathan Hansler

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Queens SisterIn 1952, British King George IV died, leaving behind two daughters. Elizabeth became queen and still reigns. Her sister Margaret is much less known, but during her lifetime, she was a rebel with a lifestyle that was not appreciated by the royal family. This pseudo-biographical drama, which at the outset notes that some of the story is true and some is not, focuses on Margaret’s private life from the time of her father’s death into the 1970s.

After she was not allowed to marry the man she loved because he was divorced, Margaret (Lucy Cohu) seemingly did outrageous things just to get press attention. One night out at a drag show with Tony Armstrong Jones (Toby Stephens), the man who would become her husband, the princess kissed her friend Sharman Douglas (Meredith MacNeill). Douglas was the daughter of the American ambassador, and they were alleged to have had a lesbian affair. Jones once said that Douglas was “butch” but that he didn’t think his wife had an affair with her. The biopic shows us the public kiss that was reported in the press.

While this film has been called disrespectful and plain trash by some, since we see Margaret taking many men to bed, it also shows her in a human light. She appears to be a very bright woman with little of value to do, and her family is so hands off that the queen’s husband Philip (David Threlfall) is the go between. The queen and their mother don’t even appear in the film. Margaret is portrayed as a character with the wealth and entitlements of a royal, but she is so confined by her life’s constraints that she wildly reacts against them, with an inability to have real relationships with anyone. (AB)