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Princess Margaret Starred in BBC Soap Opera 37 years ago

Princess Margaret guest starring on The Archers, photographed alongside cast members Arnold Peters and Sara Coward. / PA IMAGES / GETTY IMAGES


Princess Margaret Starred in BBC Soap Opera 37 years ago


Princess Margaret was well-known for abusing her royal position. Queen Elizabeth’s sister, known as the “Royal Rebel” or “Rebel Princess,” was not just royalty but also a celebrity. She even ran with a Hollywood crowd on occasion. The Princess was widely covered by the press, but she also lent her voice in a different capacity. Margaret appeared as herself in the BBC radio soap opera The Archers.

In June 1984, the Queen’s late sister joined the cast of the British serial The Archers, playing herself as a VIP visitor at a charity fashion show in Ambridge, the fictitious town in England where the radio series is set.

According to the BBC, “The Princess’s appearance cemented The Archers’ reputation and position in the soap opera firmament.”

The organization released the statement earlier this week, on the 37th anniversary of Princess Margaret’s appearance on the program.

The fictitious event was for the NSPCC, and as president, she requested if she might join the cast after the Duke of Westminster was asked.

Though the county of Borsetshire, where Ambridge is set in the program, is also fictitious, it is located in the Midlands between Worcestershire and Warwickshire, close south of Birmingham.


Princess Margaret’s portion was recorded at Kensington Palace, where the program put up a temporary recording studio. The Princess rapidly learned the microphone skills needed for radio play, according to BBC producer William Smethurst.

The show is the BBC’s most-watched non-news series.

It’s just one piece of nostalgia Margaret fans can enjoy right now: a dramatic gown she wore to a 1964 charity dance serves as the grand finale of Kensington Palace’s new Royal Style in the Making exhibit, which runs until January 2, 2022.

The Archers is the world’s longest-running drama, first broadcasting in 1951 and having shown over 19,300 episodes. New episodes are still being broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

It was also the first time that a member of the royal family appeared in a BBC show.

Since then, other royal family members have followed in her footsteps, with Prince Charles making a surprise appearance on Coronation Street in 2000.

Princess Margaret subsequently featured on other BBC shows, such as Desert Island Discs.

Lady Anne Glenconner, Princess Margaret’s closest confidante, claimed last year that the fiery royal would silence the Queen if she interrupted her while watching The Archers.

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