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Home » Books » Biography » Royalty

Princess Margaret

A Life Unravelled

By Tim Heald

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Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Other Information: Illustrated
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 July 2008
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Elegant and sophisticated biography of Princess Margaret, the controversial sister of Queen Elizabeth II, the Princess Diana of her day The almost universal conception is that the life of Princess Margaret (1930-2002) was a tragic failure, a history of unfulfilment. Tim Heald's vivid and elegant biography portrays a woman who was beautiful and sexually alluring - even more so than Princess Diana, years later - and whose reputation for naughtiness co-existed with the glamour. The mythology is that Margaret's life was 'ruined' by her not being allowed to marry the one true love of her life - Group Captain Peter Townsend - and that therefore her marriage to Lord Snowdon and her well-attested relationships with Roddy Llewellyn and others were mere consolation prizes. Margaret's often exotic personal life in places like Mustique is a key part of her story. The author has had extraordinary help from those closest to Princess Margaret, including her family (Lord Snowdon and her son, Lord Linley), as well as three of her private secretaries and many of her ladies in waiting. These individuals have not talked to any previous biographer. He has also had the Queen's permission to use the royal archives. Heald asks why one of the most famous and loved little girls in the world, who became a juvenile wartime sweetheart, ended her life a sad wheelchair-bound figure, publicly reviled and ignored. This is a story of a life in which the private and the public seemed permanently in conflict. The biography is packed with good stories. Princess Margaret was never ignored; what she said and did has been remembered and recounted to Tim Heald.

Promotional Information

Author with considerable access to royal and aristocratic circles, who has proven his worth with a much-admired biography of Prince Philip Full of revelations Reviews: 'It has an engaging sense of immediacy that goes some way towards balancing the sadness that Margaret's life inspires in retrospect' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'She was a witty, intelligent, stimulating companion ... happily Tim Heald captures all these qualities in his admirably well-balanced biography' LITERARY REVIEW '[Heald] has worked hard and produced an entertaining and reliable book' GUARDIAN 'Both a sympathetic tribute and an exploration into a tormented soul' GOOD BOOK GUIDE


About the Author

Tim Heald is a biographer, crime writer and journalist. He was chosen by Prince Philip to be his biographer on his 70th birthday. He has been a contributor to many television obituaries of royal figures, including Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother.


"This sympathetic but unsentimental biography explores the paradoxical nature of a fascinating, infuriating woman" -- Simon Shaw MAIL ON SUNDAY "A fascinating insight into the life of the party girl who became an icon in postwar Britain" DAILY EXPRESS

EAN: 9780753823774
ISBN: 0753823772
Publisher: Phoenix House
Dimensions: 14 x 21.7 x 2.5 centimetres (0.31 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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1 review(s)
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Aimee on
This is an amazing look into the life of the forgotten sister. Princess Margaret was forever doomed to live in her big sister's shadow. All Margaret wanted was Group Captain Peter Townsend the one man she loved. Unfortunatley it was denied her and instead she settles into a loveless marriage that while produces two children ends in divource. A sad look at what life should have been like for the Queen Mother's youngest daughter. A great read. Left me feeling so sad for Princess Margaret.

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