ANNE GLENCONNER: Lady in Waiting
When her memoir first came out, Lady Anne Glenconner was a frequent presence on chat-show sofas, high-lighting two incidents from her long and hectic life. She was a friend as well as a lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret for many years. And Colin Tennant, Anne’s husband, took her to see a live sex show on their Parisian honeymoon.
Growing up on a Norfolk estate near Sandringham, Anne was a childhood playmate of the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. She is careful not to gossip about Our Sovereign Lady, and what she reveals about Margaret is not exactly hot news: Tony Snowdon was bisexual and prodigiously unfaithful; Roddy Llewellyn, more than Peter Townsend, was the great love of the Princess’s life. From TV documentaries we know that Margaret was haughty and demanding; Lady G. suggests that she could be (selectively) a kind and supportive friend.
|A party on Mustique in the 1980s: Mick|
Jagger, Lady Anne and Rupert Everett
These family dramas are the most appealing element of the book, more than the celebrity/royalty tittle-tattle. The book has been dictated rather than written, which gives it a chatty readability. At its worst, there are gushing echoes of Barbara Cartland. At its best, Lady in Waiting vividly – and not always attractively – reinforces Scott Fitzgerald’s observation that “The rich are different from you and me.” Very different.