Friday, February 02, 2007

Lord Snowdon: Many cock tales

Such good news that my good friend Anne de Courcy is to write the authorised Lord Snowdon biography. One can only hope that it will deal frankly with his sex life.

Like the gruesome husband-beater Liza Minnelli, Princess Margaret had a penchant for gay and bisexual men. Kitty Kelley relates in The Royals (which I had to smuggle into the UK from the States – I wrapped it in embossed wallpaper) that at a society party in New York the hostess asked Margaret: "How is the Queen?" and she replied: "Which one? my sister, my mother or my husband?" Before they married she heard him call a male servant “darling” (or some such endearment) when he failed to see her in the room, and she cross-examined him as to his meaning. Well, I call my brother’s cat “darling” and I wish to state here and now that I am not having, nor have I ever had, a relationship with pussy.

I do hope that Anne will put flesh on the bones of one of my favourite Snowdon stories. As his marriage to Margaret disintegrated like cow dung in a squall, they attended a dinner together. At table he placed a paper bag over his head without a word. For several minutes other guests tried to ignore him until Margaret asked him matter-of-factly why he had placed a bag over his head. He replied: “Because I don’t want to see your fucking face”. I do hope this is true. But I wonder where he got the paper bag? Was it stuffed in his pocket in a premeditated act of marital hostility? Or perhaps he found it at his feet in the dining room and improvised a plea for help. And did he take the bag off before he replied to his wife? Otherwise, as he inhaled to speak, did he suck in the paper, causing muffled speech? Maybe, with each exhaled insult, he blew out a side of the bag? For me anecdotes stand or fall on such causal details. Perhaps Anne will furnish us with the facts. She is, after all, the mistress of etiquette.

Or else Nicky Haslam will enlighten us. The first of his memoirs is out in a few months time and he knows Snowdon very well. Haslam also shared a property with Margaret’s bisexual pal Roddy Llewellyn before he became a media gardener in one of the leisure sections of a national newspaper that promotes family values. Both Haslam and Anne are being published by Weidenfeld: one does hope that the former doesn't in anyway cause Snowdon to throw a strop to the latter's loss.

17 comments:

Fish said...

Little update on the dates for Nicky's autobiography - it's not, as Amazon says, March... I think it's closer to August.

Arcati said...

Thank you poppet. How is my Fish?

Susan Hill said...

If you place in a row photographs of Snowdon, Roddy Llewellyn, Peter Townsend and King George V1, you will notice one thing - they all look incredibly alike.

Fish said...

All is well in the House of Fish, thanks. Bit hectic what with family coming over and birthday plans etc. mind you. Would be nice to escape once in a while. And how is the wondrous Arcati doing?

Arcati said...

Dear Fish
Arcati is just great. Prepare for a mind-blowing interview with the brother of a certain major Hollywood actor. You read it here first. MA x

Fish said...

Of course it's here first! Everything worth reading is here first! Glad to hear all is well. By the by, have you seen the pictures of Nicky at Andy & Patti Wong's Chinese New Year party? Rather random.

Arcati said...

Fish, What did Nicky think of your interview?

Fish said...

Oh, yeah. I meant to mail you about that. He's only just recently seen it, and he thought it was "wonderful". He didn't say much about it.

I was meant to see him for coffee last tuesday, but he had to go out - only had time to drop off two more CDs and a scarf from Camden. It felt like stalking again... those were the days. I'll probably give him a ring next week sometime and ask him what else he thought of it. I'll keep you posted.

Speaking of comments, I was astonished to see how many comments were posted on that interview - what a talking point Mr Spacey is!

Susan Hill said...

Oi. Who hi-jacked this thread and its rather fascinating comment ?

Arcati said...

Quite right Susan. The threads are the underground life of Arcati-land and inclined to have a life of their own.

zork said...

The fresh little Fish said :

< Speaking of comments, I was astonished to see how many comments were posted on that interview - what a talking point Mr Spacey is! >

Mr. Spacey ? Nope ! But stalkers are indeed a fascinating subject of study.

Fish said...

To Zork,

"Mr. Spacey ? Nope ! But stalkers are indeed a fascinating subject of study."

I have to say that I quite liked your description that "Haslam and his Fish are two cute little sharks swimming together in the same tepid water," and that I do indeed admire and respect him for who he is more than who he knows. I've heard tales of a man dating Nicky's neice just to get closer to him.

Although the cute bit. I'm not entirely sure either of us qualify as "cute"... except in cartoon form. King Nicky's a cute one.

fanny hill said...

Susan Hill uttered :

<< If you place in a row photographs of Snowdon, Roddy Llewellyn, Peter Townsend and King George V1, you will notice one thing - they all look incredibly alike.>>

Wow, what a scoop ! Did you ever hear Marilyn singing "My heart belongs to daddy" ?

Anonymous said...

Doctor Zork said :

< stalkers are indeed a fascinating subject of study.>

I think so too ! Must confess I'm waiting impatiently for your razor-sharp vivisection of the fine specimen we can observe above. I read the first chapter of his book out of curiosity : heavily embellished fiction, mixed with a (maybe) questionable truth.

zork said...

Oh, yes, please, call me Doctor Zork again and again, I love that ! :-)

As for the rest, well... If the 'fine specimen' you refer to is the brother of a certain thespian, I'm afraid I've nothing to say about him – or at least, I'll keep my feelings for myself. I have one sacred principle : "Never meddle with anyone's family affairs". I think Madame Arcati and/or Miss Tamblyn should meditate on it as well.

Sorry if I disappoint you...

Anonymous said...

< I read the first chapter of his book out of curiosity : heavily embellished fiction, mixed with a (maybe) questionable truth. >

And how exactly would you know it was "fiction"? Are you family? Were you there?

Anonymous said...

The simple fact of his introducing himself (a long time after the events) as the noble soul who sacrifices himself in order to spare his little brother... Oh, please ! It's so obvious he tries everything to be seen as the good guy and show his brother as ungrateful and unfair to him. Way too beautiful and manichean to be completely honest, anyone with a modicum of critical mind will naturally suspect there's something else.

But I talk too much. Basically Zork is right : never meddle with family affairs.