Monday, 11 July 2005
The Duchess of Argyll and the Headless Men
1963 was a year of scandal for British politics. The Profumo case nearly brought the government down and as if that wasn't enough, Duncan Sandys, the son-in-law of Winston Churchill announced that he was going to resign because of some nasty rumours that had been spread about him. What where these rumours about?
Margaret, Duchess of Argyll, was the daughter of a Scottish millionaire. She was brought up in lavish surroundings and had all that she asked for. In the inter-war years she married a wealthy American stockbroker and several years later, during the war, she stepped into an empty lift shaft and suffered horrible injuries. Amazingly she recovered and was able to walk again. However, it was said that her personality had acquired a new trait; she had become utterly promiscuous. Her appetite was said to be insatiable. In 1947 she got a divorce. Shortly afterwars, she met Ian Campbell, the future Duke of Argyll. Margaret wanted a title and Ian needed her cash. The result was their marriage in 1951. Margaret embarked on numerous affairs, many of them simultaneously. The Duke became suspicious. In 1963 he went to her Mayfair flat, while she was away and serached her bedroom. There he found details of a multitude of affairs she had had and was having. She had written about them in her diaries apparently. As if that wasn't enough he also found a Polaroid camera and some photographs she had taken in her bathroom. They showed her wearing nothing but her pearl necklace while performing fellatio on a man. The photos showed him at different states of arousal and each one had a caption on it: "before" - "thinking of you" - "during" - "oh" - "finished", which are really self-explanatory. Upon searching even further, the Duke found more photographs of a man masturbating. The images were all headless.
The Duke of Argyll filed for divorce. In court, he stated the name sof 88 men whom he felt his wife had taken as lovers. The Polaroid photos were used as evidence of Margaret's promiscuous behaviour and Duncan Sandys was rumoured to be either one or both of the men in the pictures.
The Prime Minister persuaded Sandys not to resign and had him sent off to a Harley street doctor in order to have his pubic hair examined. The doctor concluded that Sandy's pubic hair was not the same as that of the man in the photographs. He was in the clear.
The 88 men were narrowed down to 5 and then requested to sign a visitors register. A graphologist was then deployed to establ;ish which one had written the notorious captions. The headless man proved to be teh American actor Douglas Fairbanks Junior, who was also married. Fairbanks never admitted he was the one but the Duke got his divorce. Margaret sank into poverty. Just before she died at teh age of 80, she told a friend: "Of course, sweetie, the only Polaroid camera in the country at this time had been lent to the Ministry of Defence." The said pictures had been taken in 1957 and at that time Duncan Sandys had been the Minister of Defence...
Posted by Anna at Monday, July 11, 2005