TIME AND CHANCE: An Autobiography by Peter Townsend

TIME AND CHANCE: An Autobiography

Email this review


The man Princess Margaret didn't marry back in 1955--because of the Church's stickiness about his divorce--has a certain sentimental cachet in the wake of the really indecorous Roddy Llewellyn affair and her own divorce. But no amount of might-have-beens can make him a very interesting fellow or anything but an exercise-book writer. Always the gentleman, he's discreet about the romance with Margaret, genuinely admiring of the Royal Family, resentful only that some of his Buckingham Palace colleagues cold-shouldered him and he was peremptorily exiled. You'll find out that an equerry-in-waiting--Townsend's role for eight years--does indeed wait for the King's summons from the time His Majesty rises until he retires (his chief duty being to escort visitors); and you'll agree that it's no job for a former RAF ace--the while wondering why he stayed for so long On the winding country path to kindergarten (p. 35), Townsend confides to a lifelong need for daring people like elder brother Michael, and that ""there did seem to be something about me which provoked women's tenderness and indulgence."" Otherwise: automat about the Battle of Britain, about his horse-racing exploits, about his post-Margaret travels and ""long climb out of the mire"" of cheap exploitation. Once, though, he did rebuke the King. And His Majesty, not Townsend, apologized.

Pub Date: Oct. 23rd, 1978
Publisher: Methuen