Main content

Margaret Rhodes

Kirsty Young interviews Margaret Rhodes, former MI6 worker and first cousin to the Queen.

Kirsty Young's castaway is Margaret Rhodes.

As the first cousin to the Queen, she has a unique insight into the life of the royal family. She used to spend her summer holidays at Balmoral with the Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret while, during the war, she worked for MI6 and lodged at Buckingham Palace. She attended the Queen's wedding and coronation and, in later life, worked as an assistant to the Queen Mother.

Remembering the Queen's coronation, she says: "We had only just recovered from six or seven years of deprivation and blackouts and rationing - it was like the sun suddenly coming out behind a lot of very dark clouds and I think everybody felt that with a new young Queen, a whole new era was opening up. It was somehow exciting."

Producer: Leanne Buckle.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 8 Jun 2012 09:00

Music Played

Add music you love and enjoy it with My Tracks
  • Frank Sinatra

    Who Wants to be a Millionaire

    With Celeste Holm Composer: Cole Porter / Saul Chaplin

    • High Society.
    • Capitol Records.
  • Hubert Parry

    I was Glad

    Artist: English Chamber Orchestra conducted by Martin Neary

    • The Coronation Service of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
    • EMI.
  • Belle Stewart

    Leezie Lindsay

    Composer: Harry Lauder

    • Queen Among the Heather.
    • Greentrax.
  • Fred Astaire

    Night and Day

    Composer: Cole Porter

    • Puttin’ On the Ritz.
    • Golden Stars.
  • Castaway's Favourite

    • Tom Lehrer

      Vatican Rag

      Composer: Tom Lehrer

      • That Was The Year That Was.
      • Reprise.
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Non Piu Andrai

    Artist: Teddy Tahu Rhodes & the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ola Rudner

    • Mozart Arias and Orchestral Music.
    • ABC Classical.
  • Jessie Seymour Irvine

    The Lord’s My Shepherd, hymn (“Crimond”)

    Artist: Norwich Cathedral Choir

    • Hymns From Norwich Cathedral.
    • TRING.
  • Morecambe & Wise

    Bring Me Sunshine

    Composer: Arthur Kent with lyrics by Sylvia Dee

    • Morecambe & Wise.
    • EMI Comedy.
  • Book Choice

    • Reader's Digest - The Most Amazing Gardens in Britain and Ireland

  • Luxury Choice

    • Her favourite blue jersey


Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Margaret Rhodes


Featured in...

The Desert Island Discs podcast

The Desert Island Discs podcast

Subscribe or download individual episodes.

Listen to over 2,000 programmes



Read the surprising things we've learned about some stand-out castaways.

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

The 75th anniversary of Desert Island Discs

Featuring David Beckham, the funniest and most moving moments, animations and quizzes.

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

The Lark Ascending – The People’s Desert Island Disc

Why does Vaughan Williams’s masterpiece appeal to so many castaways?