Tuesday, March 3, 2009

"Well-worn tweeds and well-trained gun dogs"

I bought the new Lord Snowdon biography as a gift, but I ended up skimming it--the caddish Tony Armstrong-Jones is too charming to resist. His life, apparently, has been completely defined by a) his aesthetic sensitivity, and b) his notorious womanizing...exactly what you want from your local fashion photographer! Marrying Princess Margaret in 1960 meant he had to trade in his leather jackets and chukka boots (not to mention his sexy ingenue girlfriend, Jacqui Chan), but the sensibility produced by the match is fascinating. Bridging quote-unquote Art and the Establishment, they brought their boheme circle--actors, novelists, theatre-people, etc.--along on hunting trips and spent most of the Swingin' Sixties with a royal rebel reputation.

Exhibit A: a short film made at Windsor for the Queen's 39th birthday (directed by Peter Sellers, starring Tony as the homosexual gangster/one-legged golfer):

Do rakish men of art & leisure still exist? His marriage to Margaret was, unsurprisingly, a total disaster, and Tony seems to have spent much of his golden years tallying up his love children, but the allure is real and undeniable. Though he might have been like 5'6''.

[pictures from vanityfair.com]


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Short men often know what they want and go for it with a drive unseen in taller men. Taller men often drift because they can afford to.