The divorce of the Duke and Duchess of Argyll in 1963 is a well-known tale of skepticism, theft and betrayal.
The ruthless legal case, which recorded the attention of high society in the 1960s, is now being become a BBC drama, starring The Crown’s Claire Foy as the Duchess of Argyll and Paul Bettany as the Duke.
Mini-series A Really British Scandal is from the makers of A Very English Scandal, which was based upon the scandal surrounding MP Jeremy Thorpe in the 1970s.
The program will explore life in post-war Britain and analyze the institutional misogyny, which was rife at the time.
Writer Sarah Phelps said that the Duchess of Argyll was “punished for being a lady” and that she has actually been investigating her since the 1990s.
She stated: “Composing the story of Margaret’s life and the occasions leading up to and including her divorce from the Duke has been a passion job of mine since 1993 when I first heard her name and began learning more about her.
” I felt very strongly that she ‘d been penalized for being a lady, for being visible, for declining to pull back, be a good woman and go silently. This drama is my tribute to her.”
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Not familiar with the duke and duchess and their divorce case? This is what you require to understand.
Who was the Duchess of Argyll?
The Duchess of Argyll, Margaret Campbell, born in 1912, was the daughter of a Scottish fabric millionaire.
The socialite was famous for her charm and lived a lavish way of life with multiple romances.
Her life was frequently covered in the media and she had a column in Tatler publication.
Campbell’s wedding event to her very first partner Charles Sweeny in 1933 was described by The Guardian paper as the “media occasion of the decade” and was “mobbed” by 20,000 observers.
Campbell had three children with her first husband Sweeny (including one baby which was stillborn). The couple separated in 1947.
Campbell wed the Duke of Argyll, Ian Douglas Campbell, her second spouse, in 1951 when she was 38.
Why was the Duke and Duchess of Argyll’s divorce so explosive?
The duke thought his better half was betraying to him and hired a locksmith professional to break into one her cabinets to search for proof.
There he discovered naked pictures of his other half, including among her in a jeopardizing position with another man (who became called the “headless guy”, as his face could not be seen).
The duchess refused to determine the man and figures from members of the royal family to stars and cabinet ministers were put in the frame.
In 2000, a documentary aired on Channel 4 claimed that the Polaroid pictures actually portrayed 2 different males – instead of one “headless” male.
The duke accused his other half of sleeping with 88 males behind his back, and her track record was sullied by the case as she was slut-shamed by the media.
The judge in the divorce case called the duchess’s alleged actions “entirely unethical”, and he didn’t stop there. He stated the socialite was “an entirely promiscuous woman whose sexual appetite might just be satisfied with a number of guys”.