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Joanna Lumley says Absolutely Fabulous' Patsy was inspired by Princess Margaret

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Ab Fab star Joanna Lumley says the late Princess Margaret was the “prototype Patsy”.

Given the actress once saw the royal smuggle in her own bottle of whisky to the theatre, it figures…

The pair met at a drinks reception after Joanna, who starred as chain-smoking, champagne swigging Patsy Stone in the comedy series, played Elvira in Blithe Spirit at the Vaudeville Theatre in 1986.

Joanna recalls: “At this moment in strange royal life, everybody said, ‘Princess Margaret is not allowed to drink at the moment. Do not have any drink in theatre, and don’t offer her any drink’.

Joanna played Patsy Stone alongside Jennifer Saunders' Edina Monsoon

“I thought, ‘You can’t have a reception with Princess Margaret and not offer any drink. This is insane’. She was looking pretty bored by the time I arrived.” Margaret decided to ditch the bash and snuck into
a private box with her lady-in-waiting and Joanna in tow.

Joanna said: “She left the party, opened her bag, got out a small bottle of whisky and a packet of cigarettes, lit up, cigarette holder, and sat there smoking. She was a kind of prototype Patsy. There was something so fabulous about her.

“So fabulous and so funny.”

Joanna said Princess Margaret was 'fabulous and funny' (Image:Mirrorpix)

Chatting to Joanna to promote her royal tome, A Queen For All Seasons, was telly host Gyles Brandreth , who recalled seeing Margaret spend one evening with a “fawn-ing” man who trailed her around, hand outstretched, acting as a “human ashtray”.

Patsy would be proud.

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