See Princess Margaret's Guest Appearance on a Soap Opera

·1 min read
Photo credit: PA Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: PA Images - Getty Images

Princess Margaret was known for taking some liberties with her royal role. Known as the "Royal Rebel" or "Rebel Princess," Queen Elizabeth's sister was not only royalty, but also a celebrity. She sometimes even ran with a Hollywood crowd. The press covered her extensively, but the Princess also lended her voice in a different capacity. In 1984, Margaret guest-starred on the BBC radio soap opera, The Archers, playing herself.

Tuesday marked 37 years since the Princess made her surprise appearance on the radio show. Per BBC, the role was the first time a member of the royal family took part in a BBC drama. Indeed, it is fairly uncommon for royalty to appear on scripted radio, making Princess Margaret's part all the more impactful.

"The Princess's appearance cemented The Archers' reputation and position in the soap opera firmament," said the BBC.

Photo credit: PA Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: PA Images - Getty Images

In the episode, Princess Margaret played herself as a surprise guest at a fundraising fashion show held in Ambridge, the show's fictional village. The fundraiser was in support of the UK charity, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. When Margaret was informed about this plotline, she asked to take part in the episode, as she was patron of the organization in real life.

The show recorded Princess Margaret's part at Kensington Palace, setting up a makeshift recording studio in the royal residence. Per BBC, producer William Smethurst said the Princess quickly mastered the microphone techniques required for radio drama.

The Archers is the world's longest-running drama, having premiered in 1951 and airing over 19,300 episodes. It is still airing new episodes on BBC Radio 4.

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