‘She was a prototype Patsy,’ says Joanna Lumley of Princess Margaret, who inspired Ab Fab.


‘She was a prototype Patsy,’ says Joanna Lumley of Princess Margaret, who inspired Ab Fab.

JOANNA LUMLEY, the author of a new book about the Queen, has revealed that Princess Margaret was the inspiration for Patsy, her character in the film Absolutely Fabulous.

Princess Margaret was the “prototype Patsy,” according to Joanna Lumley, a royalist and Ab Fab star.

The elegant Dior-dressed princess may have seemed an odd match for the chain-smoking, perpetually drunken personality depicted in the comedy, but Joanna, who met Margaret in person, had a different opinion.

In fact, despite protective advisers’ warnings, she had witnessed the seemingly rebellious royal bringing her own whisky bottle to the theatre.

After Joanna’s performance as Elvira in Blithe Spirit at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1986, the two met at a reception.

It’s impossible to have a reception with Princess Margaret without offering a drink!

Lumley, Joanna

“Everyone said, ‘Princess Margaret is not allowed to drink at the moment,'” Joanna recalled while speaking with TV host Gyles Brandreth on Tuesday.

“‘Don’t have any drinks in the theater, and don’t offer her any drinks,'” we were told.

Joanna, on the other hand, noticed that the princess appeared to be “pretty bored” and decided to intervene.

She challenged, “You can’t have a reception with Princess Margaret and not offer any drink!”

“This is insane!” exclaims one.

Margaret decided to skip the reception entirely and sneak into a private box with Joanna and her lady-in-waiting, where she pulled out a small bottle of whisky and began smoking.

“She left the party, opened her bag, pulled out a small bottle of whisky and a packet of cigarettes, lit them up… and sat there smoking,” Joanna revealed.

“She was a Patsy prototype.”

She had a certain radiance to her that I couldn’t get enough of.

“Fantastic and hilarious.”

Gyles Brandreth, a broadcaster and writer, then recalled his own personal encounters with Margaret, including seeing her being followed by a “fawning” man who acted as a “human ashtray.”

During a special night to promote Joanna’s new book, A Queen For All Seasons, the two had been chatting.

The event was held at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, in the heart of London’s entertainment district, and was ticketed.

Gyles had previously written a best-selling biography of Prince Philip, so the two of them were in a good position to collaborate.

“News from the Brinkwire.”


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