The wild and crazy anti-Queen

As much as we enjoyed Stephen Frears’s movie The Queen (and Helen Mirren in it), we felt as if we’d just seen a tough-love valentine to the British royal family. Surely, we thought, there must be serious gothic dysfunction behind those hunting caps and stiff upper lips.

The Queen’s Sister, a biopic made for British TV (now on DVD), gives us a lively, rough-edged counterpoint to the polished image of the Windsors, in which a different “people’s princess” gets to kick up her heels — and then some. Actress Lucy Cohu (Gosford Park) plays Princess Margaret, the headstrong younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, whose marriage to a hunky photographer, lusty indiscretions, and impromptu performances of Cole Porter songs made her a favorite of the paparazzi — but whose later years were marred by divorce, drug use, and exhaustion.

Though the real Princess Margaret died in seclusion in 2002, The Queen’s Sister makes her a vivid and accessible figure. Buckingham Palace is surely not amused, but we were fascinated.

“>VIEW a scene from The Queen’s Sister

“>BUY The Queen’s Sister

This post is from Observer Short List—an email of three favorite things from people you want to know. Sign up to receive OSL here. The wild and crazy anti-Queen