Princess Margaret told off by Queen Elizabeth for leaving childhood friend ‘terrified’ by royal rumour

It's been claimed Princess Margaret was told off by Queen Elizabeth during their childhood for trying to 'frighten' her future Lady-in-Waiting

Princess Margaret was told off by Queen Elizabeth. Seen here talking together
(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Princess Margaret was told off by Queen Elizabeth for leaving a childhood friend “terrified” by a royal rumour during a Scottish holiday. 

Princess Margaret might have grown up surrounded by royal tradition and protocol but she wasn’t afraid to be a royal rebel. From Princess Margaret’s secret romance to her ruthless response to her divorce news, the senior royal loved life and often spoke her mind. This is something that apparently started in childhood, although sometimes it led to friction between her and Queen Elizabeth. Now her former Lady-in-Waiting has described the occasion Princess Margaret was told off by Queen Elizabeth after she was left “terrified” during a summer holiday.

Queen Elizabeth with Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret at Glamis Castle

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Lady Glenconner, whose wedding prompted Princess Margaret’s “absolutely livid” response, has shared childhood memories with Queen Elizabeth and Margaret with OK!. And according to her, during a particular holiday at Glamis Castle in Scotland Princess Margaret tried to “scare her” with rumours of a “tongueless woman”.

Anne claimed, “Margaret was trying to be naughty and scare [her] by saying, ‘Oh, there’s ghosts here at Glamis – there’s a tongueless woman who dances on the lawn.’"

It seemed to work as the Lady-in-Waiting confirmed that the cheeky prank left her “absolutely terrified”. However, Queen Elizabeth reportedly stepped in and said, “Margaret, don’t frighten Anne. You know we haven’t seen the tongueless woman, it’s only something that we’ve heard about.’”

Glamis Castle in Angus

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Despite the suggestion that Princess Margaret was told off by her older sister for scaring her, Anne also explained that she’d wanted to become friends with the Princess as she shared her “naughty” personality. 

“I was three years old when they used to come to Holkham [Holkham Hall, Lady Glenconner’s ancestral home], which is only 10 miles from Sandringham,” she shared. “The Queen Mother would bring Elizabeth and Margaret to visit. The first time I saw them I hoped that Margaret would become my friend because she was quite naughty, and so was I.”

Describing Queen Elizabeth as “more serious”, Lady Glenconner said “she always had an eye out for her younger sister”. And the moment Princess Margaret was told off for telling the “tongueless woman” royal ghost story wasn’t the only time the rebellious royal was scolded. 

Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret At Badminton

(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Anne disclosed, “Margaret and I both had tricycles which we weren’t allowed to ride in the marble hall at Holkham, but of course that was the one thing we wanted to do. There was one time when we were tricycling around the hall and the Queen came down the steps and saw us both, and she said, ‘What are you doing, Margaret? That is very, very naughty.’”

“[W]e burst into giggles and went once more around the hall for good measure and then out through a door!” she declared.

Whilst she might have been scared by the “tongueless woman” ghost story, it seems as though Princess Margaret’s cheekiness added to Lady Glenconner’s friendship with her and that they enjoyed plenty of these fun moments together in childhood.

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!