The Crown portrays a major royal figure as bisexual, and hints the Queen knew
Netflix series The Crown portrays royal spouse Lord Snowdon as bisexual.
The drama series, which stars Claire Foy as The Queen, charts the life of the Monarch and her family across the years.
But the second season made a controversial choice when it came to Antony Armstrong-Jones, Princess Margaret’s husband, commonly known as Lord Snowdon.
In the new run, which debuted on the streaming service over the weekend, Armstrong-Jones is introduced as an avant-garde photographer, played by Matthew Goode.
The episodes see him romancing a young Princess Margaret (Vanessa Kirby) in the 1960s, while also having a number of hook-ups and other liasions.
In one scene, the future royal spouse is seen engaging in a bisexual threesome with married couple Jeremy and Camilla Fry.
Elsewhere, Princess Margaret and the Queen are also shown speculating about his sexuality.
Princess Margaret tells her sister: “He’s maybe a bit like Cecil, in that he’s obviously queer. Though interestingly, Elizabeth [Cavendish] denies it.
“I called her when I got home last night and interrogated her. [She says] he would never dream of being anything as straightforward as ‘simply queer’.”
The Queen appears intrigued by the inference.
The Princess also speaks to Armstrong-Jones about his sexuality.
She admits later on: “You know, when we first met I was sure you were queer.
“The way you talked to women, understood women. Not to mention your tidy little hips, your vanity and fastidiousness.
“But now I see you’re not queer. This whole routine is far too practiced and well oiled.
“Woman after woman has been here before me. Beautiful women.”
In real life, Lord Snowdon faced repeated rumours about his sexuality, though he never publicly confirmed them.
He said: “I didn’t fall in love with boys — but a few men have been in love with me.”
Though not covered in the series, Jeremy Fry was allegedly asked to be best man at the wedding of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, but was forced to reject the role because he had a gay sex conviction.
Over the years several men have come forward to claim that they had liaisons with the Lord Snowdon.
Celebrity interior designer Nicky Haslam claimed in a 2009 memoir that he had an affair in 1959 with Lord Snowdon just a year before he married Princess Margaret.
Haslam said he first met Lord Snowdon in 1955 at the age of 16 and began an affair with him four years later.
He wrote: “I had a very brief romance with Tony Armstrong-Jones, somewhat one-sided on my part as Tony, who was dazzlingly attractive, had other irons in the fire.”
Haslam cited a number of other men he alleged had had sexual relationships with Lord Snowdon.
Lord Snowdon denied the claims at the time, saying: “It’s not true as far as I’m concerned – and I should know.”
The peer was long subject to rumours about his sexuality, but never explicitly confirmed or denied being gay or bisexual.
When asked once in at a party in New York about the Queen’s health, Princess Margaret is said to have replied: “Which one? My sister, my mother or my husband?”
Lord Snowdon divorced Princess Margaret in 1978 amid rumours of infidelity.
He later married and divorced for a second time. The peer, who had five children by four women, died in January 2017.
Princess Margaret passed away in 2002.
No members of the immediate Royal Family have ever come out as gay or bisexual.
Just last year the Queen’s cousin became the first member of her extended family to come out as gay.
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Lord Ivar Mountbatten revealed last year that he is dating a man after a lifelong struggle with his sexuality.
The aristocrat is the Queen’s cousin, the great great great grandson of Queen Victoria and the great-nephew of Earl Mountbatten of Burma.
The 53-year-old came out in an interview with his boyfriend James Coyle, 54. The couple met on a skiing holiday.
He said: “I am a lot happier now, though I am still not 100% comfortable with being gay.
“Being a Mountbatten was never the problem, it was the generation into which I was born.
“When I was growing up, it was known as ‘the love that dare not speak its name’, but what’s amazing now is how far we have all come in terms of acceptance.”
Mountbatten is not an official member of the royal family, but is the first member of the monarch’s extended family to come out.