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The art of the diva.

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Princess Margaret’s diva antics are the stuff of royal legend. This was a woman who was waited on hand and foot every day of her life—receiving all the palace perks and royal trappings of her sister, Queen Elizabeth, without any of the expectations or responsibilities. But what happened when this princess collided with the Hollywood equivalent of coddled royalty, during a 1965 visit to Los Angeles?

A new PBS documentary Margaret: The Rebel Princess—airing in two parts on February 10 and 17—recalls, in part, this now-forgotten tour taken by the 35-year-old princess and her photographer husband, Lord Snowdon. It was Margaret’s first trip to America, and the princess—who had a fashion-forward taste for pop culture—made her mark, meeting stars like Paul Newman and Julie Andrews while visiting the set of Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller Torn Curtain. But hard partying during the evenings of this trip left Margaret and her husband with epic hangovers and bad press—so much so that British diplomats reportedly barred the princess from making a return visit to the U.S. in the 1970s. The climactic event of this 1965 trip, as told in The Rebel Princess, was a Beverly Hills dinner party hosted by Sharman Douglas, an American socialite and friend to Margaret. The party’s elite guest list included Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Judy Garland, Gregory Peck, Fred Astaire, Natalie Wood, Dorothy McGuire, Jimmy Stewart, Frank Sinatra, and Mia Farrow. But when Taylor and Burton arrived to the party, they weren’t happy with the seating arrangements.

To read more on Vanity Fair:

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