Princess Margaret was one of the first notable royals to bridge the gap between the monarchy and celebrity culture.
Frequently seen at film premieres and meeting the likes of The Beatles, Warren Beatty, Peter O’Toole, Barbra Streisand and Julie Andrews, she helped to modernise the image of the Royal Family, while also occasionally drawing controversy.
Today's Royal Family members now frequently partner with celebrities to help promote charitable causes.
Prince Harry and Jon Bon Jovi joined forces for an Invictus Games single and Idris Elba works closely with The Princes' Trust, which supported him as a young actor.
While it’s not uncommon for members of the Royal Family to have A-list friends - with the likes of Serena Williams, Sir Elton John and Ellie Goulding counted as close friends to the monarchy - it’s less rare to learn about celebrity feuds.
But in one now-legendary tale, the Queen's sister Princess Margaret once managed to upset a number of vintage Hollywood celebrities over the course of a single dinner in 1965.
Princess Margaret's American tour in the 1960s was glamorous three-week affair full of extravagant parties and meet and greets with high profile stars of the time.
In a tour that saw a reception at the White House with then-President Lyndon B. Johnson and film set visits to see Julie Andrews, one party left a bad taste in the mouths of Elizabeth Taylor and Judy Garland - who reportedly called her a “nasty, rude little princess."
Documents released at the National Archives revealed she and her husband Lord Snowdon had made such a bad impression that Lord Cromer, the British ambassador to the US at the time, had advised against sending her to the US on a tour again
In them, a letter to the Foreign Office read, “You will remember that Lord Cromer is not at all keen on having the Princess in the United States possibly for some time to come” - citing the “behaviour of some of HRH’s friends, who tend to take such visits very lightly.”
Princess Margaret was invited to a Hollywood party by her friend Sharman Douglas, a socialite and the daughter of a former US ambassador. (Douglas was cited in a report by Sir Patrick Dean, in which he said “It was a mistake that so much of their time [on the tour] was spent organised by Miss Sharman Douglas.”)
The star-studded guest list included Taylor, her husband Richard Burton, Kelly, Garland as well as the likes of Gregory Peck, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow.
Taylor and Burton’s disgruntlement had little to do with Princess Margaret’s behaviour - mostly because they left before she even got there.
The pair, who were Hollywood royalty by that point, were reportedly angry that they hadn’t been seated at Princess Margaret and her husband Lord Snowdon’s table.
Biographer Kitty Kelley claimed that Burton grew “extremely drunk”, was “infuriated” and they ended up walking out.
Speaking in a PBS documentary, a friend of Princess Margaret’s said, “[This] did not sit well with Elizabeth and Richard. Everywhere they went, they were the most important people in the room. And here they were not the most important people in the room. So they up and left... And they didn’t come back.”
Things didn’t improve after that as Princess Margaret went on to annoy Judy Garland, who she reportedly asked to sing for her with no notice.
In response, Garland is said to have said, “Tell her I’ll sing if she christens a ship first.”
The royal also is said to have upset Grace Kelly, who herself would go on to become a member of the Monegasque Royal Family.
Princess Margaret is believed to have told Kelly, “You don’t look like a movie star.”
In response, Kelly told her, “Well, I wasn’t born a movie star.”
Though Princess Margaret didn’t have an opportunity to directly upset Taylor and Burton, she did later in 1967, according to Elizabeth Taylor biographers Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger.
Taylor was renowned for her immense diamond collection and was wearing her Krupp Diamond ring, an Asscher cut stone of 33.19 karats.
Observing the ring, Princess Margaret is said to have said, “Is that the famous diamond? It’s so large! How very vulgar!”
“Yes. Ain’t it great?” Taylor reportedly responded.
“Would you mind if I tried it on?” Princess Margaret then asked, before warming up to the ring.
Although she didn’t quite win over Hollywood, she did impress the president who called her an “angel”.
Speaking at a dinner at the White House, Lyndon B. Johnson said, “You have claimed our heart, and we are very proud to give it you...You have represented well the people that you serve with dignity and grace and spirit and joy.”
Princess Margaret’s tour with Lord Snowdon was also featured in season 3 of The Crown, where she was played by Helena Bonham Carter.
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