Friday, September 19, 2008

The Beauty of Princess Margaret

I admit to being a cultural philistine and to knowing absolutely nothing about art. I met Stephan Shakespeare for a coffee yesterday in the National Gallery cafe. Stephan is art aficionado and spends half his life in art galleries. I had to shamefully admit that I have never been there before so he insisted in showing me one of the galleries. I may not know anything about art, but I am one of those annoying people who knows what they like but can't quite explain why.

And I very much like this picture of Princess Margaret. Indeed, I would go so far as to say it is one of the most beautiful likenesses I have ever seen. It may flatter her, but the look in her eyes reflects the engima and mystery of her character. This paragraph both began and ended my career as an art critic.

More on the picture HERE.


Anonymous said...

I met Will Shakespeare for a coffee at the Globe once.

Anonymous said...

I saw Princess Margaret at a reception in the 80s and she looked nothing like that painting.

Anonymous said...

I met that painting at Stringfellow's and it looked nothing like Iain Shakespeare.

Alan Douglas said...

Oh Iain, you old queen, you !

Alan Douglas

Unsworth said...

She was a bit of a goer in her time - allegedly - so I'm not too sure you're seeing any enigma and mystery. Much more likely to be 'come and get it, big boy' - I suppose.

Still, it's a nice enough painting. There room enough for it in the London cloakroom.

Tory Historian said...

By the 80s she would have been considerably older than she was in that painting.

Here's a thought Iain: spend some time in the National Portrait Gallery. That has a nice coffee bar, too, and a great bar at the top - fantastic view. Between the two lots of portraits of worthies in history. You'll like it.

Anonymous said...

Such a nice painting that it's hard to recognise it as the coked-up, booze-raddled old hag that we all knew and hated.

Anonymous said...

I'd give her one.

Unlikely birds to whom I'd also give one:

1/ Hazel Blears
2/ Miriam Clegg
3/ That bloke's wife who won Crewe and Nantwich
4/ er
5/ that's it.

Old Holborn said...

I hear her "parties" were "legendary". She answered the door once wearing a black latex catsuit and was a firm favourite of the "swinging sixties" mob.

Bollocks, there goes my knighthood.

Anonymous said...

Whaddya mean "allegedly", Unsworth? The old boot jumped the twig in 2002 and you can't libel the dead.

Pound for pound, I reckon that in her day Her Maj had a better rack of goods on her than that Helen Mirren.

Gawd bless you, Ma'am.

Anonymous said...

Between about the ages of 18 and 30, Princess Margaret was very beautiful by anyone's standards, and this portrait captures that - believe me, I'm old enough to remember her from newsreels of the time.

Anonymous said...

And there was me thinking you were a foxy young popsy, Judith.

Back to chewing ma bawgies!

Victor, NW Kent said...

May of 1958, it was my birthday and we had dinner at the same restaurant that the Princess and 7 friends were attending. They were at the next table to us and I found her to be a very attractive woman.

A certain Lord, now deceased but well connected later with horse racing, rose from another table and made an audible improper suggestion to her. She saw him off with well-chosen salty language which caused him to stagger away and me to laugh. Unwisely he took offence at that and a slight but uneven scuffle ensued and he was politely escorted to the door by two professional looking men who appeared from nowhere.

Margaret raised her glass to me so it was one birthday that I remember well. She was beautiful when she smiled.