Welcome to The Not Old Better Show. I’m Paul Vogelzang, and this is episode #524.
As part of our Smithsonian Associates, Art of Living Series, today’s show is about the ever-intriguing House of Windsor. We’ve arranged an eyeopening interview with Royal biographer and Smithsonian Associate Andrew Morton, who’ll be joining us today, and will be presenting at the Smithsonian Associates program on April 6, 2021. The title of Andrew Morton’s Smithsonian Associates presentation is The Windsor Sisters: Elizabeth and Margaret, A Complex Royal Bond.
They were the closest of sisters and the best of friends. But when, in a quixotic twist of fate, their uncle, King Edward Vlll, decided to abdicate the throne in 1936, the dynamic between Elizabeth and Margaret was dramatically altered. Margaret would have to curtsey to the sister she called Lillibet, and bow to her wishes.
Elizabeth would always look upon her younger sister’s antics with a kind of stoical amusement, but Margaret’s struggle to find a place and position inside the royal system—and her fraught relationship with its expectations—was often a source of tension. Famously, the Queen had to inform Margaret that the Church and government would not countenance her marrying divorcee Peter Townsend, forcing Margaret to choose between keeping her title and royal allowances or her divorcee lover.
Andrew Morton’s new book, Elizabeth and Margaret, The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters, explores their relationship from the idyll of their cloistered early life, through their hidden war-time lives, into the divergent paths they took following their father’s death and Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne. In conversation with us today, Andrew Morton shares his unique insight into these two drastically different women—one resigned to duty and responsibility, the other resistant to it—and the lasting impact they have had on the Crown, the royal family, and the ways it adapted to the changing mores of the 20th century.
Royal watchers will be enthralled. Andrew Morton has written extensively on celebrities including biographies of Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, and Madonna, as well as the British royal family. He has written bestselling biographies of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Prince Andrew, and Meghan Markle. His #1 New York Times bestselling biography Diana: Her True Story won international acclaim, described by critics as a “modern classic” and “the closest we will ever come to her autobiography.”
Please join me in welcoming to The Not Old Better Show via internet phone, NYT Bestselling author Andrew Morton.
My special thanks to Andrew Morton for his generous time today. Andrew Morton will be presenting at Smithsonian Associates on April 6 and the title of his presentation is The Windsor Sisters: Elizabeth and Margaret, A Complex Royal Bond. Details and links can be found in our show notes today. My thanks to Smithsonian Associate for all they do to support the show, and my thanks to you my dear Not Old Better Show audience for your company today, and I hope you’ll join me next time. Be safe, be healthy, and please practice smart social distancing, and remember, Let’s talk about better. The Not Old Better Show. Thanks, everybody. Amazon link HERE for Andrew Morton’s new book, Elizabeth & Margaret: The Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters