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The letters that survived Princess Margaret's burning!

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Anne Diamond | 13:56 UK time, Thursday, 11 October 2012

The Queen Mother

Perhaps the Queen Mother knew that one day her scribblings would become historical documents. She wrote hundreds and hundreds of letters throughout her lifetime, and thankfully many boxes of them have survived - now kept in the archives at Windsor Castle. Whilst he was writing her official biography, William Shawcross was allowed to sneak a peek at them, and couldn't believe what a treasure he'd found. Now he's pulled together some of the best, and published them in a book, and they paint us a fascinating picture of the real woman behind the regal face.

It's believed that Princess Margaret had several "tidying up" sessions, in which she burned those letters that perhaps gave away too much - letters between the QM and Princess Diana, for example.

But those that are left still brim with personality and charm - and the occasional spark of wit, anger and even tears.


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