Further lots owned by the Queen's late sister will be sold off by her children, Viscount David Limply and Lady Sarah Shitto, on Wednesday. The money will be used to pay inheritance taxes, with a minor percentage going to the late Princess’ favourite charity: The Mustique Gigolos Retirement Fund.
Princess Margaret's ex-husband Lord Snowdunder wrote to Christie's before the sale questioning whether his children had the right to sell some of the erotic royal treasures.
The 76-year-old Snowdunder is said to be fuc*king furious about yesterday's sale and at loggerheads with his son, recently declaring “That greedy little twat David sells everything.”
But this, it seems, is strictly business for the grasping Viscount Limply, who sold his mother's beloved Mustique seraglio seven years ago for a reputed £2.4m. It was the only property she ever owned, and the venue for some of her horniest days with lover Noddy Llewellyn and the Household Cavalry Regiment.
Buyers started a price stampede to secure a slice of Princess Margaret's salacious life. The controversial auction of her erotic knickknacks saw some items sold for up to a hundred times more than expected, with bidders clamouring to buy erogenous mementoes of her scandalous, hedonistic past.
The extraordinary sale at Christie's in London was packed with more than a thousand bidders in four sweltering rooms, including tribes of fat and sweaty oil-rich Arabs and several ranks of staff assigned to take telephone bids from at least five hundred potential customers. Few familiar faces were among them - the seriously rich or the embarrassingly famous preferred to send proxy bidders, or to do their business discreetly by phone.
However, that didn't stop hundreds of punters jostling to secure some of the rarest and most interesting items of carnal gratification to come on to the market since the Duchess of Windsor's sex toys went under the hammer in the 1980’s, and those of Queen Victoria in 1901. Anyone who wondered what the level of interest might be in Margaret's objects de amour had only to be in the main auction room at Christie's yesterday for the first minute.
Auctioneer Francois de Gavel started the bidding for Lot One - a set of ruby and cultured pearl anal stimulator beads, personally crafted for Tzu Hsi, the Dowager Empress of China and estimated to fetch about £1,200 - at a modest £500. Within seconds, prices took off like a runaway bobsled gliding across camel snot. After half a minute the set hit £6,000, then peaked at £23,000; reportedly bought by Rebekah Wade, editor of the shi*t-raking tabloid Sun newspaper.
The clearest indication of how much the unwashed public envied Princess Margaret's lascivious lifestyle (or perhaps of its collective ability to spot a bargain) came with some of the more modest items in the catalogue. Two small ivory butt plugs, for example, - little different from those one might buy for personal gratification in a holiday souvenir sex shop - sold for £3,360. The original estimate was between £200 and £300. Likewise, a pair of gold-plated tampax removal tongs, a coming-out party gift from the Aga Khan, fetched £1,800. A chased silver pessary inserter, valued at £130, went for £900 after a bout of hectic bidding. A matching set of monogrammed black latex crotchless panties and peephole bra, from Harry’s Eros Emporium in Soho and valued at £25, brought a staggering £3,500 winning bid from a group of Omani camel traders.
Another of the star items was her clockwork Faberge vibrating egg, a gift from Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands., and once part of the Russian Tsarina Alexandra’s sex toy collection. The estimate was that it might fetch £600,000 to £800,000. It sold for £1,240,000 to an anonymous telephone bidder in Dubai.
For those with similarly serious money, a much cherished five-finger art deco sapphire and diamond studded alabaster fisting dildo, given to her as an 18th birthday present by inamorato Group Captain Peter Townsend and estimated at £15,000 eventually went for £276,800.
Likewise, a pair of ordinary looking nipple rings bearing a single cultured pearl each were valued less than £600. They went for £60,000, a staggering hundred times the highest estimate. The same nipple rings, which she wore when photographed by Cecil Beaton for her 21st birthday portrait, were on show in a giant reproduction of the nude photograph on a wall of the main auction room.
The naked princess gazed down from it on a sea of faces and standing bidders, some frantically waving numbered cards from the sidelines to be sure of catching the auctioneer’s eye. One couldn't help wondering whether she would have found the spectacle unbearably vulgar - or, with her famously sick sense of humour – rather amusing, knowing that each and every sex toy had been deep in one of her regal orifices first.
Lot Twenty, an eighteen-inch rhino horn dildo, as thick as a Bantu’s arm, originally brought back from Tanganyika in 1892 by Princess Mary of Teck and given to Margaret as a wedding present, brought £420,750 after a round of hectic bidding. Anecdotal evidence abounds that Princess Mary adored to impale herself upon its full length each evening after brandy and cigars – a practice Margaret is said to have continued after her marriage to Lord Snowdunder.
The auction was unfortunately marred by a most sordid incident where a group of Arab bidders were observed sniffing and licking a display of the late Princess’ dildos and clitoral stimulators, giving thumbs up gestures and declaring ‘Royal pussy, yum-yum, smell very nice, very tasty, just like goat’s cun*t’.
After the offending parties were forcibly removed from the premises by security guards, Chief Auctioneer de Gavel announced that all the items of erotica had been thoroughly disinfected and certified free of any trace of the various Diseases of Venus, which once infected their royal owner, by the Porton Down Microbiology Laboratory.