Poor Princess Margaret (Helena Bonham Carter) has a tough time of it within the new season of The Crown, specifically within the seventh episode, “The Hereditary Precept.” Within the house of that single episode, Margaret has a medical scare that requires lung surgical procedure, is demoted from her royal duties, and discovers a devastating secret about her household. However earlier than any of that, she endures a serious romantic disappointment in her relationship with Derek “Dazzle” Jennings (Tom Burke), a younger priest she’s developed emotions for. For causes that quickly turn into clear, she’s barking up the incorrect tree. Here is the true story of Dazzle and his relationship with the princess.
Who was Derek Jennings?
Derek Jennings was born in 1946 and labored as a senior civil servant within the British Authorities’s Division of the Atmosphere. In 1984, he stop his job to take the Holy Orders and turn into a Catholic priest. He was a infamous and fashionable determine in London, with a large circle of pals together with the actor Alec Guinness and Princess Margaret. After finishing his coaching in Rome, Jennings returned house and finally grew to become the chaplain at King’s School London, per Metro.
Upon his dying in 1995, The Occasions wrote in its obituary (per Radio Occasions) that Jennings’ dying “deprives London’s non secular lifetime of one among its most eccentric comets…he would flip up at nation home dinners, theatre festivals, public sale homes and modest scholar gatherings, all the time craving to argue the toss, all the time with an admonitory finger on the prepared, all the time loyal.”
Did Princess Margaret contemplate changing to Catholicism?
Onscreen, Margaret and Jennings’ relationship involves a dramatic shut when he tries to persuade her to transform to Catholicism, and he or she refuses out of loyalty to her household, earlier than telling him she by no means needs to see him once more. There is not any proof that Margaret and Jennings ever had such a falling out in actual life—in reality, she was one of many final individuals to see him earlier than he died in 1995.
However the remainder of this storyline comes from the reality. Based on a number of studies, Jennings actually did attempt to convert Margaret—and in not less than some variations of the story, she thought of it. Biographer Noel Botham claimed in his 2002 e-book Margaret: The Final Actual Princess (per Radio Occasions) that Jennings believed Margaret wished to transform, however Margaret felt unable to undergo with it as a result of it could be a betrayal of her sister. Queen Elizabeth is the top of the Church of England, so Margaret changing would have been seen as a probably devastating snub.
Botham additionally described a cocktail party in 1988 the place Jennings brokered a gathering between Margaret and the Catholic Cardinal George Basil Hume. Per the Catholic Chief, Jennings mentioned Margaret described the night as “one of the crucial rewarding, fascinating and satisfying nights of her life.”
Was Princess Margaret romantically fascinated about Jennings?
In The Crown, we’re launched to Jennings as he breaks the information to Margaret that he is about to take Holy Orders. It is an intimate alternate, and Margaret is clearly fascinated about Jennings as greater than a detailed pal. When Jennings declines to kiss her, she assumes it is due to the church and his vow of abstinence. However quickly, in a really indelible scene, it is made clear that Jennings is, in reality, homosexual.
The queen watches with an expression of well mannered incredulity as Margaret talks mournfully about how she and Jennings cannot be collectively due to the priesthood. “That is the second purpose he was by no means the proper man for you,” Elizabeth nods. Confused, Margaret asks what the primary purpose is, to which the Queen gently tells her that Jennings is “a pal of Dorothy…famously so.”
Jennings was certainly homosexual in actual life. The Reverend Richard Coles, a longtime pal of Jennings, is quoted at size within the Radio Occasions: “He was in fact homosexual, though—extremely—he thought this was a secret identified solely to some,” Coles wrote in his autobiography. “He discovered intimate relationships unimaginable or very tough, so the celibate standing he was obliged to undertake by the self-discipline of the Roman Catholic Church suited him.”
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