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Wine from Princess Margaret’s cellar to go under the hammer

Three bottles of wine belonging to HRH Princess Margaret are being offered in a sale by Dreweatts, as part of a private collection of art, sculpture, furniture and furnishings of  the princess’s former daughter-in-law, Serena, Countess of Snowdon. 

The three bottles of 1976 dry Riesling from the Rhine, Germany carrying the labels of Kensington Palace, suggesting that the wine was bottled for HRH Princess Margaret for the Silver Jubilee in 1977. Marked in the catalogue as “a curiosity”, the three bottles have varying levels of liquid inside, and carry an estimate of £30-£60 (lot 102).

The auction house is also selling two large ‘Belle Rives’ lacquer drinks trays by Rita Konig for The Lacquer Company, which are estimated to fetch £100-£200.

Queen Elizabeth’s younger sister was well-known for her hedonistic lifestyle in later life, but according to the princess’s biographer, Craig Brown, her morning routine in the mid 1950s already, included two hours of reading the papers in bed each morning, followed by an hour long bath and a vodka and tonic just after midday for a pre-lunch pick-me-up, followed by half a bottle of wine with lunch.

She was also a notable fan of Scotch whisky brand, The Famous Grouse and reputedly “tried to combine… smoking and drinking by gluing matchboxes onto tumblers, so she could strike matches while drinking”, according to Brown’s book, Ma’am Darling – 99 glimpses of  Princess Margaret.

Biographer Noel Botham also recorded that a decanter of her favourite tipple was always present on her drinks tray in her apartment in Clarence House during the 1950s, and she would have a drink before setting off for an evening out.

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