Advertisements
Lady Anne Glenconner reveals how her idyllic Caribbean paradise Mustique became a famous hotspot. Above: Princess Margaret in scene on the island in 1986 between Lady Anne (far right) and her husband Colin Tennant (left)

On Saturday, in our first excerpt from her joyful new memoirs, Princess Margaret & # 39; s confidant painted an intimate portrait of her remarkable relationship with the Queen's sister – from wandering in the garden to sharing secrets about their cheating husband.

Advertisements

Here, in the second part of our exclusive serialization, Lady Anne reveals how her idyllic Caribbean paradise became a famous hotspot …

We were on vacation in Trinidad when my husband heard Colin about the Caribbean island of Mustique.

After having sailed it around, he bought it for £ 45,000 – without even setting foot on it.

It had no running water and no electricity, and only a dozen hectares were grown where cotton was grown.

Lady Anne Glenconner reveals how her idyllic Caribbean paradise Mustique became a famous hotspot. Above: Princess Margaret in scene on the island in 1986 between Lady Anne (far right) and her husband Colin Tennant (left)

Lady Anne Glenconner reveals how her idyllic Caribbean paradise Mustique became a famous hotspot. Above: Princess Margaret in scene on the island in 1986 between Lady Anne (far right) and her husband Colin Tennant (left)

Advertisements

The rest of the 1,300-hectare island was a fresh frazzled.

Someone else who has considered buying it must have concluded that it was not a starter, because by that time – 1958 – it had been on the market for five years.

When Colin turned to me and asked what I thought, I didn't restrain myself. & # 39; Colin, & # 39; I said, & # 39; this is pure madness! & # 39;

He looked at me. & # 39; Watch my words, Anne, & # 39; he said defiantly. & # 39; I will make Mustique a household word. & # 39;

It was only the bravest of friends who visited in the early years. Among them was Princess Margaret.

After she and Tony Armstrong-Jones got married in 1960, they embarked on a six-month tour of the Caribbean on the Royal Yacht Britannia and headed for Mustique.

A smart boat came ashore and a man in white navy uniform appeared at the door with an invitation to dine on the yacht.

A generous revealing suit

Advertisements

During the day, Princess Margaret wore one of her many swimsuits with whale braces and a short skirt.

I began to notice that whispers circulated when they came out of the water.

I soon realized that it was because her swimwear was transparent when she was wet.

I approached the subject subtly and said: & # 39; Madam, I wonder if you are aware that your swimsuits are rather transparent.

& # 39; Maybe I can arrange it for you. & # 39;

Advertisements

& # 39; Oh, Anne, & # 39; she said, somewhat annoyed.

& # 39; I don't care. If they want to watch, they can watch. & # 39;

And that was that.

I wrote back and said: & # 39; Madam, it is very, very kind. We would really like that, but we haven't had a bath in two months and we really smell bad. & # 39;

An answer came in which they said they understood well, but wished that our company wished anyway and would have a cabin available.

Advertisements

I was excited and took the opportunity to soak in the bath for a long time. It was bliss.

The following day we took them on a tour of the island. For the rest of their stay we invited them to use any beach they liked, and we assured them that they would remain undisturbed.

On the last day they came and drank a drink with us. That was the moment when Colin said: & # 39; Madam, we did not give you a wedding gift.

& # 39; Do you want something in a box or do you want a piece of land? & # 39;

Princess Margaret turned to Tony and made a decision without waiting for him. & # 39; Oh, I think a piece of land would just be great, & # 39; she said.

Advertisements

It was Tony & # 39; s first and last visit. Years later someone asked him about Colin and he blurted out that he had always despised him.

Apparently he referred to Mustique as & # 39; Mustake & # 39 ;. But for Princess Margaret, Mustique would eventually give her a whole new life.

One day in early 1968, she called Colin to ask: & # 39; Do you really mean the country? & # 39;

& # 39; Yes, & # 39; Colin answered, excited that she was interested.

& # 39; And is it coming with a house? & # 39; Princess Margaret asked.

Colin, who did not want to disappoint, answered that he would build her a house. She was delighted and said she would come to Mustique to see the country.

A few months later she arrived without fuss, luckily using the bucket of water in the trees to shower, just like us.

The food was also basic: although we had fresh fish, everything else was canned. She didn't mind.

The Queen's first visit was in 1977 with the Duke of Edinburgh, who always made me nervous, writes Lady Anne Glenconner. Above: The queen is standing next to Princess Margaret (right) with Prince Philip on the back (left)

The Queen's first visit was in 1977 with the Duke of Edinburgh, who always made me nervous, writes Lady Anne Glenconner. Above: The queen is standing next to Princess Margaret (right) with Prince Philip on the back (left)

The Queen's first visit was in 1977 with the Duke of Edinburgh, who always made me nervous, writes Lady Anne Glenconner. Above: The queen is standing next to Princess Margaret (right) with Prince Philip on the back (left)

Advertisements

We didn't have decent furniture, so we sat on plastic or wicker chairs and played cards when the light wasn't good enough to read.

Mosquito nets covered the beds and at night we were flooded with some extraordinary mice.

Princess Margaret called them & # 39; flying mice & # 39; because they would run to the net and then jump with great leaps to the next that seemed to defy the laws of gravity.

She was surprisingly flexible – and very excited when we took her to Gelliceaux Point on the top of the island, where her house was to be built.

Colin suggested it because it was difficult to reach people, so it was safer.

Advertisements

This of course meant that it was also difficult for us to reach it and it was covered with scrub.

I offered her Colin cotton pajamas.

There she climbed the hill, wore Colin & pajamas with a string around her ankles and wrists to prevent the brambles from scratching and the mosquitoes from biting.

She wore wide sunglasses, a straw hat and a big smile, without noticing it. She wasn't vain. She just went on with things.

Although it was simple and there were no celebrities and grandeur on the island for years, she had privacy. A bolthole.

Advertisements

She became more and more enthusiastic about the completion of her house and when we were both in London in the months prior to completion, I called several times to ask me to go shopping with her.

Lady Anne and Colin Tennant turned Mustique into a celebrity magnet, with David Bowie buying a villa and a large number of others, including Bryan Adams visiting. Above: Lady Anne poses between the Rolling Stones & Mick Jagger and actor Rupert Everett

Lady Anne and Colin Tennant turned Mustique into a celebrity magnet, with David Bowie buying a villa and a large number of others, including Bryan Adams visiting. Above: Lady Anne poses between the Rolling Stones & Mick Jagger and actor Rupert Everett

Lady Anne and Colin Tennant turned Mustique into a celebrity magnet, with David Bowie buying a villa and a large number of others, including Bryan Adams visiting. Above: Lady Anne poses between the Rolling Stones & Mick Jagger and actor Rupert Everett

I was very happy with the invitation and was looking forward to going to Colefax & Fowler or another glamorous place. But she always chose Peter Jones – it was all very low-key – and she usually opted for Laura Ashley-type white furniture and curtains.

In February 1972 she stayed in her newly completed home and called it Les Jolies Eaux – French for & # 39; beautiful waters & # 39 ;.

It was the only house she ever owned, and it made her very happy because, apart from being beautiful, it gave her an independent base from her husband.

Tony was not only sensitive to mood swings, such as Colin, they both also had an affair.

We complained to each other, but without surrendering, bluntly speaking – and putting aside our problems, we focused on doing the things we liked.

She loved collecting shells to decorate tables, so we combed the beach and then took them home to clean.

It is surprising how such activities can have a calming effect and distract attention from potential difficulties.

The Queen's first visit was in 1977 with the Duke of Edinburgh, who always made me nervous.

He made everyone nervous and knew it. The first thing he said to Colin when he came ashore from Britannia was: & # 39; I see you've destroyed the island. & # 39;

Colin was impressed by the comment, especially because he had put so much effort into planning the route with the duke in mind, including snorkeling with sharks.

Lady Anne, Princess Margaret and Lord Glenconner are waiting on the jetty to greet the queen who is arriving at Mustique on the Royal Yacht during her Silver Jubilee tour through the West Indies

Lady Anne, Princess Margaret and Lord Glenconner are waiting on the jetty to greet the queen who is arriving at Mustique on the Royal Yacht during her Silver Jubilee tour through the West Indies

Lady Anne, Princess Margaret and Lord Glenconner are waiting on the jetty to greet the queen who is arriving at Mustique on the Royal Yacht during her Silver Jubilee tour through the West Indies

The planning paid off, because when he left, he turned to Colin and said: & I really love your island. I really enjoyed my time here. & # 39;

The following week, Nick Courtney, the general manager of the island's management company, showed people around the island, and when he arrived in Macaroni Bay, he said: “The queen was swimming here last week and we don't have the water changed since. & # 39; Mustique seemed to be a hit with everyone.

But I hated the parties that Colin kept giving because of the costs. Some of them cost hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The money was bleeding. If we needed more, Colin would just sell one or two paintings.

By the time the Peacock Ball was organized in the mid-1980s, Colin had sold something enormously valuable and had almost no options left.

But he said it was all worth it because the parties made Mustique famous and therefore more profitable.

I think he was right from that point of view: it attracted the top rock stars, from David Bowie, who bought Mandalay Villa, to Bryan Ferry and Bryan Adams, as well as mass & celebrities from all over the world.

Since Mick Jagger bought his house 30 years ago, he has worked to become part of the local community, give money for a new school and participate in village life by playing cricket.

Very often we went to Basil & # 39; s Bar and saw Mick join a live singer.

On a New Year we organized a skit in which Mick was the doctor and we told everyone that he was looking for people to play patients with.

Of course the whole community showed up and wanted to be cast for the role.

Princess Margaret loved the island of Mustique and stayed there for thirty years every year. Above: Lord Glenconner poses with his arm around Margaret on Mustique in 1986

Princess Margaret loved the island of Mustique and stayed there for thirty years every year. Above: Lord Glenconner poses with his arm around Margaret on Mustique in 1986

Princess Margaret loved the island of Mustique and stayed there for thirty years every year. Above: Lord Glenconner poses with his arm around Margaret on Mustique in 1986

David Bowie was also a very charming man, who immediately sat my first twin on his lap when he was there, completely at ease with everyone as if we were all old friends.

Nowadays it still attracts the same kind of people as all those years ago.

The duke and duchess of Cambridge take their children, the newest generation of Jaggers grew up there and people from the fashion world are still attracted, from Poppy and Cara Delevingne to Tom Ford, who is one of his pink lipsticks & # 39; Mustique & # 39 ; mentioned & # 39 ;.

Great, really, because it still doesn't have all the modern conveniences that other places have.

There is a small supermarket, but nothing important, and there is no golf course or marina and no night club.

I think the reason it is so popular is that it has retained Colin's distinctive Bohemian spirit and has taken it as its own.

Towards the mid-1970s, a steady stream of articles appeared on how Mustique introduced the new & # 39; place to go & # 39; used to be.

This was a huge exaggeration – but it was easy to believe.

Colin decided that if he were to give extravagant parties, people would hear about it and want to be invited to this & # 39; Caribbean Spectaculars & # 39 ;.

But of all parties, his 50th birthday Golden Ball, in 1976, was the one that gave Mustique the label of the hedonistic paradise for the rich and famous.

It looked spectacular. Everything was golden – the trees were painted, the grass was sprayed and even the beach was covered with golden glitter.

Colin had some local boys oiled up and they carried nothing but a gold-painted coconut that was strategically placed below.

That night Mustique made famous forever, especially because of the golden boys who danced around Princess Margaret.

And it worked commercially: right after the party, Mick Jagger bought a villa called L & # 39; Ansecoy.

(He also invited Margaret and me to a Rolling Stones concert in London. It was so loud that we kept our fingers in our ears all the time.)

The parties went through the years, the most beautiful was Colin's 60th birthday party in 1986, which he spent two years planning.

Jerry Hall, who had then replaced Bianca Jagger, sashayed in an almost identical dress as mine and commented: & # 39; You are the same color as me. & # 39;

I wanted to say to Jerry: & # 39; No, you have the same color as I & # 39; – but I didn't.

The lady-in-waiting of Princess Margaret remembers the moment when she discovered that her husband Lord Glenconner had left his £ 22 million estate in St. Lucia to his servant

By Lady Anne Glenconner, court lady of Princess Margaret for the Daily Mail

Some of the happiest times that Princess Margaret and I shared were at Mustique, and we went there for 30 years every February.

But by the time the 1980s ended, things had changed. Colin had sold more and more shares and had less and less control over how Mustique was run.

In 1987 he moved to St Lucia, where he invested in an undeveloped estate of 480 hectares. He wanted to create something as spectacular somewhere else as Mustique.

Lord Glenconner left his entire estate, including Mustique, to his servant Kent (left), on whom he had become increasingly dependent

Lord Glenconner left his entire estate, including Mustique, to his servant Kent (left), on whom he had become increasingly dependent

Lord Glenconner left his entire estate, including Mustique, to his servant Kent (left), on whom he had become increasingly dependent

Shortly after his move to St Lucia, Colin – who had inherited the title of 3rd Baron Glenconner after his father's death in 1983 – saw an advertisement for an elephant for sale at the Dublin Zoo and spontaneously purchased it and organized the shipment to St Lucia.

He called her Boopa and her arrival on a ship that imported bricks was a big event because she was the first elephant to come to the Caribbean.

Everyone flocked to the beach, and many of the young men on the island wanted to be her guard, busy and waving to get Colin's attention.

Among them he saw a boy with very large ears and picked him up on the spot. The boy's name was Kent.

Over the years, Colin became increasingly dependent on Kent for almost everything, especially since I was much less rounded than I had been then.

In 1987 our then 19-year-old son Christopher suffered a terrible motorcycle accident, causing him to be brain-damaged so much that he was like a small child.

My whole life was tied up in an attempt to save his. I was convinced that if he gave him all my attention, he might be fine.

Over time, he made a remarkable recovery. He also married, but when Colin moved permanently to St Lucia, I stayed in England not to be too far away from him.

When the marriage failed a few years later, Christopher came to live in my farm in Norfolk (and then met a local woman, Johanna, with whom he is blissfully happy).

Kent devoted his life to Colin, who in return was generous, gave him two hotels and paid him well.

Although Colin had improved since the beginning of our marriage, he was still very tense.

On a certain occasion he became hysterical under the most embarrassing circumstances.

He had taken me and Kent to Italy and organized an evening in Verona to see Nabucco, one of my favorite operas.

Kent, who loved football, went to watch a game on TV instead.

The evening went well until halfway through the chorus of the Hebrew slaves in the third act, when Colin started to moan and scream to my horror.

& # 39; Colin, what's wrong? & # 39; I asked.

& # 39; I wish Kent was here, & # 39; he moaned.

Lord Glenconner sits on an elephant his twin daughters Amy and Mary on the island of St Lucia, in the West Indies, in 1994

Lord Glenconner sits on an elephant his twin daughters Amy and Mary on the island of St Lucia, in the West Indies, in 1994

Lord Glenconner sits on an elephant his twin daughters Amy and Mary on the island of St Lucia, in the West Indies, in 1994

& # 39; Frankly, I don't think Kent would enjoy it, but I'm here. & # 39; But still Colin wailed: & # 39; No, no, I want Kent! & # 39;

By that time, more and more of the audience turned their heads in our direction.

When I saw the rug on Colin's knees, I threw it over his head, hoping it would lock him up.

Now that his wailing was now muffled, the audience turned their attention back to the stage.

I collapsed and hoped the legend was over – but the worst shame was yet to come.

When the chorus was finally over, the conductor turned to the audience and announced: & # 39; Under the circumstances, I think we should have it again.

I was completely ashamed.

By 2010, Colin had prostate cancer, but he was adamant that no one would find out.

He always had the idea that people didn't want to do business with someone who looked sick or old.

That summer I went to St Lucia to look after him and I stayed for a few weeks.

As he slowly recovered, he was relaxed and loving. With obligations in Norfolk I went home with the intention of coming back a week or so later.

On August 27, 2010, three days after I left, he had a huge heart attack and died. I was completely shocked.

When I flew back to St Lucia to organize the funeral, I found it hard to imagine a world without him.

Colin was an extremely difficult and brilliant man in equal measure. But somehow, in spite of his endless affairs and histrionics, there was a compelling loyalty, a friendship that bound us together no matter what.

On St. Lucia, it is common for a will to be read quickly, so that night I waited for the lawyer.

Everything that belonged to Colin, sentimental or valuable, he had left to Kent alone. Above: Lord Glenconner in 2009

Everything that belonged to Colin, sentimental or valuable, he had left to Kent alone. Above: Lord Glenconner in 2009

Everything that belonged to Colin, sentimental or valuable, he had left to Kent alone. Above: Lord Glenconner in 2009

I was worried and a little concerned about it, as Colin's lawyer had said: & I believe that Lord Glenconner made a new testament seven months ago with a lawyer from Soufrière. & # 39;

My heart sank when the new lawyer appeared. He hardly kept eye contact and was very restless when I was standing with my daughter-in-law Sheilagh, whose son Cody was probably the heir.

He pulled out a sheet of paper and read aloud: & I hereby leave everything to Kent Adonai and I trust that he will fulfill my wishes to the family. & # 39;

I thought my heart would stop.

Afterwards I found Kent and as calm as I could, I said: "Well, Kent, I hope you will fulfill the wishes of Lord Glenconner to all of us."

He looked at me, shrugged, and said, "I don't know what Lord Glenconner meant." I knew then that we would really lose everything.

Lord Glenconner, who died in 2010, stands outside the restaurant he owned on the island of St Lucia

Lord Glenconner, who died in 2010, stands outside the restaurant he owned on the island of St Lucia

Lord Glenconner, who died in 2010, stands outside the restaurant he owned on the island of St Lucia

Later I stood on the balcony of the house that was no longer ours. Fifty-four years.

Five children. A marriage full with Colin who threw as many tantrums as he threw parties.

And now, after all I have experienced, this. It was such a terrible humiliation. And to do it to our children …

I despaired. I went against everything my mother had always taught me, I let emotion take over and I screamed and screamed into the pitch-black night.

Everything that belonged to Colin, sentimental or valuable, he had left to Kent alone.

The only thing the family had left was Glen, the Scottish estate, left in confidence to my grandson Euan. He is the son of our second son, Henry, who died of Aids in 1990.

But the heir to the barony and Caribbean abilities is Cody, the son of our oldest son Charlie, a reformed heroin addict who died of hepatitis C in 1996.

Cody and his mother disputed the will. It finally took seven years to resolve. While Kent saved an enormous amount of land and money, about half of Colin's estate was transferred to Cody.

I still find it impossible to say whether Colin intended to leave us all with anything. It is quite possible that he did it on purpose, as a sort of terrible stunt that would secure his reputation as a memorable eccentric.

It is also possible that he did not understand what he was doing in the last few months of his life. I'll never know for sure.

. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) news