A Very British Scandal: Is the Duchess of Argyll’s story true?

A Very British Scandal is currently airing on BBC One. All three parts are written by Sarah Phelps, whose work in recent years has included adaptations by Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None, and ABC Murders.

The story centers on the actual divorce of the Duke (Paul Bettany of Wandavision) and Duchess of Argyll (Claire Foy of the Crown), one of the most notorious, extraordinary and brutal legal cases of the 20th century.

Read more:Is A Very British Scandal related to A Very English Scandal by Hugh Grant?

Foy is Margaret, Duchess of Argyll who has found herself embroiled in a vicious divorce from her husband, Ian Douglas Campbell. The couple married in 1951, their second and third marriages, but broke up a few years later.



Paul Bettany and Claire Foy

Campbell accused his wife of cheating on him in 1963 with 88 men and produced a series of Polaroids as evidence, stolen from his office, showing Margaret committing a sexual act on an unidentified man – who is not pictured that from the neck down.

Speculation was rife that it could be Douglas Fairbanks Jr, a royal son-in-law and Winston Churchill, among others, but in fact many of the men accused by Campbell were in fact gay and the Duchess chose to keep quiet for protect them. because homosexuality was still a crime in Britain at that time.

The bitter case also featured bribery, theft, drugs and violence charges and thrilled the press and the public with the Duchess seen as the first woman to be “slut” humiliated by the press.



Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll

Sarah Phelps said of her story: “This is the story of a woman who refused to be a shameful slut, who refused to take it easy and refused to do as she was told. She set the expectation of her class, gender and gender on fire rather than going quietly. She put the privacy of the rich, landowners and headlines on all the front pages, not the tall and good untouchables, but bare forked animals. ”

In 1973, she wrote a memoir, Forget Not, and sadly, her extravagant lifestyle left her penniless. With the help of her children and her first husband (Charles Sweeny), Margaret was placed in a retirement home in London, where she died in 1993 from a fall.

A Very British Scandal airs at 9 p.m. Boxing Day, December 27-28 on the BBC and is available to stream on iPlayer after the first episode airs.

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