See Princess Margaret’s appearance in a soap opera

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Photo credit: PA Images – Getty Images

Princess Margaret was known to take 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 lent her voice to another title. In 1984 Margaret appeared in the BBC radio soap opera, The Archers, playing herself.

Tuesday marked 37 years since the princess made her surprise appearance on the radio show. By BBC, the role was the first time a member of the royal family had participated in a BBC drama. Indeed, it is quite rare for royalty to appear on scripted radio, which makes the role of Princess Margaret all the more impactful.

“The appearance of the princess cemented The Archers‘reputation and position in the firmament of the soap opera,’ said the BBC.

Photo credit: PA Images - Getty Images

Photo credit: PA Images – Getty Images

In the episode, Princess Margaret played the role of a surprise guest at a fashion show in Ambridge, the show’s fictional village. The fundraiser was intended to support the UK charity, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. When Margaret learned of this plot, she asked to participate in the episode, as she was the boss of the organization in real life.

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

The Archers is the oldest drama in the world, premiered in 1951 and aired over 19,300 episodes. It always airs new episodes on BBC Radio 4.

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