Princess Margaret went back on breakfast promise after being left confused by common kitchen appliance

Princess Margaret once had to go back on a promise to her Lady-in-Waiting after she was unable to turn on an often-used kitchen appliance

Princess Margaret went back on her breakfast promise. Seen here she visits the Royal Asscher Diamond Company
(Image credit: Photo by Les Lee/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Princess Margaret went back on her breakfast promise after being left confused by a common kitchen appliance whilst visiting her Lady-in-Waiting.  

The late Queen’s sister might’ve had important responsibilities but she also enjoyed the glamorous side of being a royal. From Princess Margaret’s extravagant lifestyle featuring a six-week honeymoon to her fabulously lavish way of paying for things, she knew how to live in style. However, this did have its downsides and it seems Princess Margaret sometimes found day-to-day tasks a little challenging. 

Speaking on the BBC’s Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal documentary, her former Lady-in-Waiting, Lady Anne Glenconner, discussed the time Princess Margaret went back on her breakfast promise after being confused by an appliance. 

Princess Margaret at Ascot

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

Asked whether Princess Margaret ever visited her home, Lady Glenconner confirmed that the senior royal had been over “about 14 times”. However, because her farmhouse was “so small” compared to the likes of Kensington Palace, Princess Margaret had to come without her maid. 

“Then one time she came and stayed, she said, ‘Don’t worry about my breakfast, dear. I can do it all by myself. I bought my own kettle’,” Lady Glenconner explained. “So I said, ‘Well, that’s very kind of you, ma'am.’”

Whilst the Queen’s sister might have come with her own appliance, knowing how to use it was another matter altogether. According to Lady Glenconner this caused quite a bit of difficulty for Princess Margaret as it turned out she’d never had to use a kettle herself before.

Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon

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

The former Lady-in-Waiting continued, “And we got the kettle and all that sort of thing, and then, of course, in the morning I heard her calling me - ‘Anne, Anne, come up!’. I said, ‘Ma,am what do you want?’”

Princess Margaret reportedly replied, “I can’t turn the…I don’t know how to turn the kettle on”, after which Lady Glenconner carried her breakfast up for her instead. 

After hearing this unusual story, the surprised interviewer then asked Lady Glenconner for clarification about what Princess Margaret found so challenging.

“Well, she didn’t know, she didn’t quite know how to turn it on,” Lady Glenconner answered matter-of-factly before being asked, “Had she ever done anything normal for herself, in life, really?”

To this she responded simply, “Well, no, I mean she didn’t have to!”

Princess Margaret circa 1970

(Image credit: Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Whilst some fans might be stunned to learn Princess Margaret went back on her breakfast promise because she couldn’t use a kettle, Lady Glenconner didn’t seem fazed. The Lady-in-Waiting described the Queen’s sister as “lovely” and recounted the anecdote fondly.

As the years have gone on, younger generations of the Royal Family know their way around a kitchen a little more, with her great-nephew Prince William pictured cooking whilst at Eton College as a teenager. He also discussed his breakfast culinary skills during a visit to youth-led charity Together as One (Aik Saath) in early 2023.

"I do a bit of cooking, Catherine is a very good cook," he declared. "I'm a bit of a breakfast man, I do a good breakfast."

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!