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Princess Margaret’s habits that gained her ‘Her Rude Highness’ nickname by aide laid bare

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Margaret’s daily routine was carefully planned out and executed everyday. The Queen’s sister, who was a heavy smoker, required that a servant followed her around with an ashtray as she got on with her daily activities.

In the documentary Royal Servants Peter Russell, who was a palace aide between 1954 and 1968, confirmed the peculiar request.

Mr Rushell said: “Of course, at a banquet for instance or a big social occasion, it meant you had to dance attendance on her all night long.

“Possibly to be just standing to her left or right with an ashtray, so she didn’t have to look to see where she flicked her ash.”

According to the Daily Mail, Margaret’s specific routine included having “breakfast in bed, followed by two hours in bed listening to the radio, reading the newspapers (which she invariably left scattered all over the floor), and chain-smoking.”

English critic and satirist, Craig Brown, revealed in his book Ma’am Darling Princess Margaret’s many luxurious and extravagant habits.

An extract of the book reads: “9am: She has breakfast in bed, followed by two hours in bed listening to the radio, reading the newspapers (‘which she invariably left scattered over the floor’) and chain-smoking.

“11am: She gets into a bath run for her by her lady’s maid.

“Noon: An hour in the bath is followed by hair and make-up at her dressing table, the she puts on clean clothes – ‘as one would imagine of a Princess, she never wore any of her clothes more than once without having them cleaned’.

“12.30pm: She appears downstairs for a vodka pick-me-up.

“1pm: She joins the Queen Mother for a four-course lunch ‘served in an informal manner from silver dishes’, with half a bottle of wine per person plus ‘fruit and half a dozen different varieties of native and Continental cheeses.’”

In 2019 Channel 5 documentary “The Royal Family at War”, Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell described Margaret as “rude” when she smoked.

Mr Burrell said: “She would stand there with her cigarette in her holder and blow the smoke into my face.

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“I didn’t mind that but it is very rude to do that.

“But Margo was a certain creature, born at a certain time. You could not change her.”

Royal historian Kate Williams said that even though the Queen and Margaret grew up together, they had developed different lifestyles.

She said: “Elizabeth was conscientious, dutiful, organised, methodical, always doing exactly was was expected of her.

“Margaret was impulsive and fun, she was very often naughty.

“She had an imaginary friend called Cousin Halifax that she blamed for everything that went wrong.”

Royal correspondent Victoria Arbiter also suggested that the Countess could be compared to Prince Harry today, as she was “the cheeky, impish one”.

She said: “She was like Prince Harry. She was the one with no responsibility but all the privileges.”

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