“She is a highly sexed mrs who has actually ceased to be satisfied with normal sex-related activities.”


Margaret, Duchess of Argyll

48 top Grosvenor Street was once referred to as by man Paul Getty as “Number One, London” and it to be the Mayfair residence where among the most commemorated sex scandals of the Sixties take it place.

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A collection of Polaroid photographs were used as proof in the bitter and also acrimonious divorce case between the Duke and also Duchess that Argyll in 1963. Lock featured Margaret the Duchess, a previous debutante the the year, in her arts Deco-style bathroom at her upper Grosvenor Street home dressed in nothing but her signature three-strand pearl necklace. More shockingly they confirmed her performing fellatio top top a naked guy whose identity was concealed because his head was not recorded within the frame. Other polaroid photographs confirmed a man masturbating for the camera in the exact same bathroom.

The press, overexcited with the recurring Profumo affair, started to question who exactly was the headless man? There were very solid rumours that it can be be a room minister or also a famous film star.


Number One, London


Duke and Duchess of Argyll not lengthy after your wedding

The Duke and also the Duchess, both divorcees, had met top top a blind date in 1950 and married in 1951 at Caxton room registry office. The marriage quickly crumbled however and the Duchess later on admitted the she was having actually affairs by 1954 and the battle each other filed because that divorce in 1959 after finding his wife’s salacious diaries and also the compromising polaroids. After four years of legitimate wrangling the case reached the court in 1962 however it wasn’t until may 1963 the the judge mr Wheatley authorize his damning verdict and also in a four-and-a-half hour judgement, review out:

“She is a extremely sexed mrs who has actually ceased to be satisfied with normal sexual tasks and has actually started come indulge in poisonous sexual tasks to gratify a debased sex-related appetite. A totally promiscuous mrs whose sexual appetite can only be satisfied v ED pills native https://viaqx.com/ through a number of men, whose promiscuity had prolonged to perversion and also whose mindset to the sanctity of marriage was what moderns would contact enlightened, however which in plain language to be wholly immoral.”

The press had actually a ar day and also the Duchess’s call was ruined, no only since of the polaroid photos, but that she to be accused of resting with eighty eight men consisting of two cabinet ministers and also two members the the imperial family.

It was stated that an accidental fall, forty feet down a lift-shaft during the war, left she not just with a lack of taste and also smell but with a voracious sexual appetite bordering on nymphomania.


The Duchess in July 1963

Within 2 weeks the the referee Wheatley’s verdict on June 5 john Profumo resigned after admitting the he had slept v Christine Keeler. The Duke and also Duchess and the headless guy photos were for a short while almost forgotten. However, in ~ a stormy cabinet meeting on June 20, the Defence Secretary Duncan Sandys (pronounced Sands), incidentally the son-in-law the Winston Churchill, confessed that he was rumoured to be the headless man.

Sandys offered to resign, however he was dissuaded by element Minister Macmillian who, due to the fact that of the Profumo affair, to be frightened the even an ext scandal for the Government. Mr Denning, who had currently been commissioned to investigate the Profumo scandal, was additionally asked to investigate the identification of the headless lover as component of the remit.


Lord justice Denning top top the work his report was published


Duncan Sandys


Douglas Fairbanks Jnr roughly the time the the affair

There were four polaroids that a male in different states that arousal each v handwritten captions: “before”, “thinking of you”, “during – oh”, and “finished”. Denning knew that if that could enhance the handwriting, he would find his man. That cunningly invite the five an essential suspects – Sandys, the American gibbs Douglas Fairbanks Jnr, American businessman man Cohane, Peter Combe, one ex-press officer at the Savoy, and Sigismund von Braun, the diplomat brother of the Nazi scientist Werner von Braun – come the Treasury and also asked because that their help in a “very vulnerable matter”.

On showing up they every signed the visitor’s register and also their handwriting to be analysed by a graphologist. The result proved conclusive. Back Denning didn’t include the an outcome in his report the headless man was identified by the handwriting experienced as the gibbs Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Duncan Sandys, lot to his relief, appeared to be in the clear, yet thirty 7 years later on in the year 2000 a Channel 4 documentary around the case featured a man referred to as Paul Vaughan, a friend of the Duchess’s. He reported that she had actually once said to him;

“Of course, sweetie, the just Polaroid camera in the country at this time had to be lent to the set of Defence.”

The programme analysed the film and found that it to be taken in 1957 (Sandys to be the Defence Minister at this time) and concluded with this new evidence the there had actually been two guys in the photos and also that Duncan Sandys had been among them.

Although I recognize that ns haven’t checked out the documentary, yet in 1957 Polaroid cameras had actually been marketing commercially for eight years and also Polaroid had actually actually offered their millionth camera the year before in 1956. It because of this defies credibility that the set of Defence had had the just Polaroid camera in the whole country. Therefore it appears to me the the documentary’s conclusion is on really shaky ground and also perhaps Sandys was totally innocent after all.


Early Polaraoid Camera indigenous 1949


Polaroid Camera design 95B - most likely the form used in the Duchess's bedroom

The Duchess’s reputation, that course, was destroyed after the divorce case and also ensuing scandal, however she was likewise ruined financially and eventually had actually to offer her house in upper Grosvenor Street. She died in a Pimlico nursing home in July 1993 and also was buried next to her very first husband, the amateur American golfer Charles Sweeney.


Duchess the Argyll in ~ her home in upper Grosvenor Street

Incidentally, prior to she passed away the duchess wrote:

“I had wealth, ns had great looks. Together a young woman I had been continually photographed, composed about, flattered, admired, had in the Ten Best-Dressed women in the world list, and also mentioned by Cole Porter in the native of his hit song ‘You’re the Top’.”

She was indeed mentioned in the Porter’s classic song, under her surname from her an initial marriage to Charles Sweeny, however the lyrics were indigenous PG Wodehouse’s slightly rewritten and quietly forget British variation of the song which adjusted Porter’s lyrics from:

You’re the nimble tread that the feet that Fred AstaireYou’re one O’Neill drama,You’re Whistler’s mama!You’re camembert.


You’re MussoliniYou’re mrs SweenyYou’re Camembert.


Mussolini v his pets lion cub Ras

PG Wodehouse, although among the wittiest authors ever, was constantly slightly politics suspect particularly when it involved accidentally appeasing fascists. The didn’t really do himself any type of favours in that respect as soon as he rhymed mrs Sweeny through Mussolini in his version of You’re The Top.

TheLondon move of Porter’s music Anything Goes opened up on June 14, 1935 and also it was just three months later that the Italian dictator, who had remained in power since 1922, bespeak the bombing and the usage of poison mustard-gas in the Italian invasion of Ethiopia.

If Wodehouse assumed Mussolini was the top, God only knows what he thought about the bottom. Over there again perhaps it was just playful irony indigenous Wodehouse and also he just took pleasure in comparing mrs Sweeny through Mussolini.

Ethel Merman – You’re The TopEthel Merman – Blow, Gabriel, BlowFrank Sinatra – something GoesEileen Rodgers – I get A Kick out Of YouDivine Comedy – A Lady the A particular Age

Four months before the Suez crisis, the moment in background when a begrudging, drizzly and grey brothers belatedly realised it wasn’t a super-power any more, the recently re-opened imperial Court Theatre, situated on the eastern side of Sloane Square in Chelsea, premiered the first play through a 26 year old actor called John Osborne.


Look earlier In anger was created in seventeen work while sit in a deckchair ~ above Morecambe pier . The legend is, the course, the Osborne’s play to be an instant success and also in a flash British theatre was changed forever. Changed by plays collection in drab functioning working course northern bed-sits, the posh drawing-room dramas indigenous playrights choose Terrence Rattigan and Noel Coward, were seemingly banished overnight.

Indeed ~ above the first night that Look earlier In rage the an initial glance that Alison Porter’s ironing board on stage attracted actual loud gasps native the audience. Rattigan himself, although persuaded not to leaving at the interval by a friend, said on leaving the theatre,
“I think the writer is trying come say: ‘Look how unlike Terence Rattigan i am, Ma!”.

The following day the director of the beat Tony Richardson and also Osborne sat in the little coffee shop beside the imperial Court theatre completely depressed. Richardson broke the silence, and said:

“But what on planet did friend expect? you didn’t suppose them to favor it, walk you?”

Although the beat was generally initially dismissed by many of the critics, a prescient 39 year old Kenneth Tynan wrote in the Observer -

“All the features are there, characteristics one had actually despaired of ever before seeing top top the stage … ns doubt if I can love anyone that did no wish to watch Look earlier in Anger.”

‘Anger’, together luvvies are apt to call the play, at first took very small money and also the manufacturing was checked out pretty lot as a miserable failure. However, a few weeks into the run, the BBC determined to transfer a short excerpt that the beat one evening. The listeners liked what castle heard, made decision to go and see the play because that themselves and takings instantly doubled at package office. The effect snowballed and also the play at some point transferred come the West End, ultimately to Broadway and was made into a film in 1958 starring Richard Burton. It certainly wasn’t overnight yet Osborne had now become a really famous angry young guy indeed.

Osborne went on come write effective plays such as The entertainment artist (starring sir Laurence Olivier), Luther and also A Patriot for Me. He likewise won an oscar because that his adaptation of Tom Jones in 1963. That occasionally continued acting and also his acting duty in the 1971 film acquire Carter was highly regarded and indeed to be a brilliant menacing performance.

By the early seventies, however, depression and also alcoholism set in. Bad reviews of his recent unfashionable theatre didn’t assist and to be woundingly required to heart. For instance the financial Times’ BA Young’s evaluation of his pat Sense of attachment which was put on in 1972 – “This should surely it is in an finish to his career in the theatre”.

Writers, and artists in general, are frequently excused character defects and also bad behaviour, because that the services of their art, however the treatment Osborne dealt the end to many of the ladies in his life (and surprisingly, considering his behaviour, there to be a lot of them with five wives and numerous affairs) was often exceptionally vile and misogynistic.

He left his an initial wife shortly before the opening of Look back In Anger, and also subsequently married mary Ure the leading actress in the play and also the film. They stayed in a home in Woodfall Street just off the queens Road a couple of hundred yards from The imperial Court Theatre. It to be a marital relationship that would only last 5 years and also his love life was, by the early sixties, extremely complicated. He to be on holiday in the south of France through his mistress the beautiful flame-haired dress designer Jocelyn Rickard in 1961, when at residence Mary Ure was offering birth come a child (to be fair it more than likely wasn’t Osborne’s). At the exact same time, in Italy, the reporter Penelope Gilliatt, and also future mom of his daughter, obtained a charming marital relationship proposal through letter;

“will girlfriend marry me? It’s risky, but you’ll gain fucked regularly”.

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The letter operated (one day ns will understand women) and also a year later he married Gilliatt through whom he had actually a daughter. Together usual the marital relationship was a relatively short-lived affair, and also he married the actress Jill Bennett in 1968. Again the marital relationship soon became unhappy and also the couple, both drinking exceptionally heavily, finished up heavy trying to put each various other down. In ~ a party she when shouted;

“Look in ~ him, the poofter can’t even get it up.”

Jill Bennett committed suicide in 1990, 2 years after your divorce. Osborne chose to add a spiteful extra thing to his memoirs – expressing pity the he hadn’t to be able come look right into her open coffin and “drop a good, huge mess in her eye”. Peggy Lee’s ‘Is the All over there Is?’ was played at her funeral.

When Gilliatt additionally fell in to irreversible alcoholism, their daughter Nolan, who had actually been lugged up in new York v her mother, pertained to live v Osborne and his fifth wife Helen, then both living in Kent. It to be a possibility for him to do amends because that his own unhappy childhood (his father died of TB as soon as Osborne was 10, because that which, part reason, he always blamed his mother) but after simply three years Osborne threw Nolan the end of his house, removing she from school for an excellent measure. She was just seventeen. Her only crime seems to have actually been usual teenage sullen behaviour and a lack of attention in her father’s hard-drinking thespian friends. He as soon as shouted at her;

“There is not among them that is no worth a dozen low lifes favor you.”

She walk to remain with the family of a schoolfriend and Osborne never ever saw her again. “Nolan’s birthday,” he wrote in his diary when she turned 22, “God rot her.”

Likewise when his mother died in 1993, he wrote an article for the Sunday times which had a an initial line, ‘A year in which my mother died can’t be all bad.’

Osborne, who by this time had long left Chelsea’s queens Road and also started to act the nation gent in Shropshire with his 5th wife Helen, passed away on Christmas eve in 1994, 12 work after his 65th birthday. For once their marital relationship was a relatively dedicated and private relationship. The last words that he wrote, discovered by his mam scrawled top top a cigarette pack beside his deathbed in the hospital, were, “Sorry, I have actually sinned.”