“You know, when I was a young actor I was touched up by Princess Margaret,” he said.
“I was at the Royal Court. I was doing a play with Alan Bates and it was my 23rd birthday and I’d been given a red shirt from Lindsay Anderson. I’d just washed my hair so I was sort of glistening, and I walked in and was introduced to her.
“She put her fingers on my shirt, and said: ‘This is a lovely shirt.’ And she started to run her fingers down the inside of my shirt. And I went: ‘Uh oh!’ What do you do when you’re being touched up by a royal?”
Princess Margaret would have been married to photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, the Earl of Snowdon, in 1970. They divorced to much negative publicity in 1978.
Cox added: “It was so funny. James Bolam, he could see what was going on and started going ‘Ooooh’ out of the side of his mouth, which somehow said princess didn’t take in at all. She just kept saying: ‘You were so wonderfully hooded on stage. I wanted to know more about you…’ She was an extraordinary creature. I excused myself and said: ‘Thank you, ma’am,’ and it came to a natural end.”
The actor also discussed the Prince Andrew scandal in the interview, in the context of entitlement – a key theme in dynasty drama Succession.
“I mean, what an idiot,” he said. “What an outstanding dumb f***. ‘I don’t know who that young woman was, and I don’t sweat.’ It’s ridiculous! I’m so cross with the idiocy of what we allow. It just shows how ridiculous the notion of monarchy is.”