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A U.K. television channel said Thursday it plans to screen what it calls a "factually accurate" television drama that depicts Queen Elizabeth II's younger sister, Princess Margaret, having sex and taking drugs. Channel 4 described The Queen's Sister as "a witty and irreverent royal romp." One scene features the princess in a lesbian kiss, while another shows her smoking a "strange cigarette" at a party, the channel said. "I think some people will find it quite arresting and challenging," said Channel 4's director of television, Kevin Lygo. "It's factually accurate, and it's a racy romp."
Arts-loving Princess Margaret, who died in February 2002 at age 71, added a dash of cosmopolitan glamour to the royal family's staid image. Her life was overshadowed by her youthful romance with Royal Air Force group captain Peter Townsend, a dashing--but divorced--hero of the Battle of Britain. At the time it was considered unthinkable that the queen's sister would marry a divorced man, and in 1955 Princess Margaret announced she would not wed Townsend. Margaret went on to marry the Earl of Snowdon, but the couple divorced in 1978, making Margaret the first divorcee in the queen's immediate family.
Lygo said the drama captured Princess Margaret "in the late '50s and early '60s when she was absolutely the most glamorous public female figure, in a Diana-like way in her own era, and then it all went a bit wrong." Francis Hopkinson, Channel 4's senior commissioning editor for drama, said the program "shows the excesses of hedonism" but "wasn't intended as an expose." He said it was based on interviews and research from existing sources. Channel 4 said it planned to broadcast the program in late November. (AP)