Princess Margaret stole the show as The Crown's most captivating character, from her penchant for parties to her passionate romances, and now she's the subject of a new BBC documentary. In Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal, which debuted on Sept. 11, fashion historian Beatrice Behlen reveals that the Queen's younger sister was such a beauty icon that an Italian journalist once broke into her hotel room to see her products!
"She went to Italy, and people were just totally hounding her," Beatrice said. "They actually broke into her hotel room to find out what nail varnish she was wearing, and that was recorded in the press. That wasn't expected. In England the press was always much more reverent."
It seemed the icon's English rose sensibilities were too much to resist. What the journalist found in Margaret's room was two of her favourite beauty products and her book du jour. Peggy Sage was the brand behind her go-to nail polish, which is still on shelves today, and the fashionable princess spritzed herself with Lenthéric's Tweed perfume, once called "a fresh, youthful fragrance" in a 1935 ad that said it was reminiscent of the "tangy autumn woods."
And this isn't the first time Margaret's invasion of privacy is being revealed. In an issue of Life magazine uncovered by HELLO!, the incident was reported in a story called Princess Margaret Goes Swimming, talking about the 19-year-old's vacation in Capri. Towards the end, the story states: "An Italian newspaper woman had managed to slip into the Princess' hotel suite and discovered that she was reading a book called Busman's Honeymoon, using Tweed perfume and Peggy Sage nail polish."
Busman's Honeymoon, a 1937 novel by Dorothy L. Sayers, was part of a popular detective series following the couple Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane, he a monied amateur sleuth and she a mystery writer. With Margaret's love of adventure and new experiences, it's no wonder she loved the series. The documentary also revealed a trip to France when Margaret was 18 and met with fellow icon Christian Dior at his Paris boutique. Much like the rest of the world at the time, the famed designer was said to be "absolutely fascinated" by the beautiful royal.