Brilliantly British: Twiggy discusses Express campaign
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The British model rose to fame in the Sixties and became a cultural icon due to her untraditional appearance. Twiggy, whose real name is Lesley Lawson, was given the nickname due to her slight build and androgynous look. The 71-year-old, who appears in Alan Titchmarsh: Spring Into Summer this week, remains an internationally-known figure.
After Twiggy’s modelling career flourished, she went onto become a star of film, the stage and TV.
During that time she brushed shoulders with countless celebrities including Joanna Lumley, Elaine Paige and Christopher Biggins.
One encounter she would wish to forget was a coarse interaction with the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret.
The royal, who died from a stroke in 2002, was renowned for her cutting comments and less traditional lifestyle.
While some disapproved of the way Margaret acted, royal commentator Jennie Bond argued she helped future members of the Firm.
In the documentary Princess Margaret: Rebel Without A Crown last year, she described her as “fantastically grand” and “fantastically snobbish”.
While the journalist pointed out that she “did tarnish the reputation of the Royal Family”, she felt there was “another side too”.
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Ms Bond said: “She cleared the way for younger members of the Royal Family to get out of unhappy marriages.”
Margaret wasn’t without her troubles – including being a heavy smoker, several alleged extramarital affairs and clashes with the family.
Ms Bond claimed the royal’s “lifestyle, her broken marriage” and “bringing divorce into the fold” caused trouble for the monarchy.
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One of the main problems identified by the royal expert was that Margaret “would say exactly what she thought”.
Her brutal honesty – which often came across in an insulting manner – was unleashed upon Twiggy around 1966.
It happened six months after the then-17-year-old model had become an international star.
That same year, the Daily Express crowned Twiggy “The Face of 1996”.
The teenager was at a dinner party for Vogue magazine when she found herself sat next to Princess Margaret.
Twiggy was beside the royal “for about two hours” before she finally turned around to talk to her.
At the time, protocol meant the future fashion icon was unable to speak to the Queen’s sister unless addressed by the royal first.
Last year, Twiggy recounted the memory to the Daily Express: “Princess Margaret asked, ‘What’s your name?’”
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The model’s recollection countered claims from Ms Bond that the royal flatly stated: “Who are you?”
In response, Twiggy said: “My name’s Lesley Hornby, Ma’am, but everyone calls me ‘Twiggy.’”
She claimed Margaret “just looked at” her after the comment before putting her down with a blunt remark.
The royal allegedly said: “Oh, how unfortunate.”
Twiggy claimed Margaret “didn’t talk to me again” after that brief but cutting conversation.
The fashionista admitted she “was mortified” by the response.
While Twiggy had a difficult experience with Margaret, she had nothing but praise for another member of the Royal Family.
She described Prince Charles as “always so charming” after meeting the future King a few times, including when she was made a Dame in 2019.
Twiggy was awarded the honour for her services to the arts, charity and fashion.
During the ceremony, she swelled with pride after Charles told her “it’s about time too”.
Twiggy features on Alan Titchmarsh: Spring Into Summer, which airs at 8pm Monday on ITV.
Princess Margaret: Rebel Without A Crown is available to watch on My5.
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