Season 2 of A Very British Scandal, starring Paul Bettany (@WandaVision) And Claire Foy (The Crown), premiere Prime video Friday, April 22nd with all three episodes.
“The divorce of the Duke (Bettany) and the Duchess of Argyll (Foy), one of the most famous, splendid, and violent court cases of the 20th century,” according to the official synopsis, is the subject of season two. Forgery, drug use, bribery, and an outspoken Polaroid image were all part of Margaret’s, The Duchess of Argyll’s famous divorce, wShe made headlines in the 1960s media because of her personality, beauty, and sense of fashion.
The dazzling community star whose extramarital escapades are exposed by her husband, played by Paul Bettany, who has posted compromising photos of his wife in order to secure a divorce, plays Netflix’s The Crown star Claire Foy in the BBC drama Margaret Wigham. The intimate facts of the couple’s romantic past were revealed by the press and the public during the trial, which inspired the TV show’s fictional background. This marriage demonstrates fears of the institutionalized misogyny as well as the aristocratic excess that was prevalent in British society in the 1960s.
Duke and Duchess of Argyll
Margaret Wigham, born in 1912, was a Scottish millionaire heiress before she was known as the Duchess of Argyll. Known for her beauty, Margaret was engaged four times at the age of nineteen as a debutante, and moved through the most famous social circles. At the age of 15, she was said to have had an illegal abortion.
Charles Sweeney, an American businessman and entrepreneur, had her first marriage when she was twenty years old. Crowds of 20,000 flocked to peek at Margaret’s wedding dress, which the Guardian described as “the media event of the decade”. One stillbirth and eight miscarriages were part of the couple’s experience raising their two children. They separated in 1947 when their marriage fell apart.
The Duke of Argyll, Ian Campbell, had been married twice before then until he met Margaret in 1947. Born in 1903, Campbell suffered from alcoholism and gambling addiction as a result of his tenure as a prisoner of war in Germany. Ex-wives say he inflicted physical and verbal violence on them. The Duke inherited Inverary Castle in Scotland in 1949 when he was the chief of his clan.
Why did the marriage end in divorce?
After marrying in 1951, the Duke became an aristocrat thanks to Margaret’s wealth and money from her previous marriage, allowing him to pay off his many gambling-related debts. It was clear from the start that their marriage would be difficult. Both of them had many lovers throughout their relationship and they did not trust each other very much. According to reports, the Duke bugged Margaret’s car while she was claiming that his children from his second marriage were not his.
After five years of estrangement during which the couple sued each other, Argyll’s divorce case began in 1963. According to reports, the Duke began divorce proceedings when Margaret failed to pay costs that were supposed to help him keep the decline going. Inverary Castle. Campbell took some Polaroid selfies of Margaret after she filed for divorce, and those photos went on to become famous, and they stalked Margaret for the rest of her life.
The Duke filed for divorce on the grounds of infidelity, claiming that Margaret had slept with a total of 88 men throughout their marriage. His testimony in court included a display Polaroid bargaining, which showed Margaret, who was only wearing her signature pearl, performs a sexual act on an unidentified man whose head has been cut off from the photograph. The lover’s identity has never been revealed, despite hints that he could be anyone from Hollywood actors to politicians, and he has been dubbed the “headless guy.”
The press took the opportunity to make a big deal about Margaret’s sex life and spread it all over the front pages. She became known as the “Dirty Duchess” as a result of her actions.
People have speculated that the “headless man” was none other than Sir Winston Churchill’s brother-in-law, Duncan Sandys, because it has been reported that defense minister He had access to a Polaroid camera at the time of the accident. Sandys, who has been vilified by the controversy, has considered retiring from management, despite his denial of the allegations.
The divorce was granted after a three-hour hearing in which the judge convicted Margaret as a “hypersexual woman” who was dissatisfied with normal relations and began engaging in disgusting sexual activities to satisfy a weak sexual appetite “which she could not be satisfied with” normal relations. The Duchess’ lust was also alleged to have caused a near-fatal fall down a 40-foot-high boom in 1943.
A look at how the Argyll divorce case sheds light on sexism in the 20th century:
There was no mention of the Duke’s extramarital affairs during the trial. Nor was Campbell questioned about the theft and display of Margaret’s private photos – which are now considered revenge porn. Despite the shift in public attitudes caused by the introduction of the oral contraceptive pill in the 1960s, women are still heavily criticized for expressing their sexual desires. As an older woman – Margaret was 50 at the time of the court proceedings – the “Dirty Duchess” faced public condemnation.
Many women’s reputations were ruined by the high-profile sex scandals of the 1960s, including the Profumo affair. Modern eyes might regard the “ultrasexual” Duchess as sexually liberated, and treating her with contempt would be a “shame of shame,” as the phrase goes.
What happened to the Duchess of Argyll?
Divorces were difficult for Margaret, though she was challenged in the face of gossip and social judgment. Margaret did not fully recover from the ordeal. The judge ordered her to pay the vast majority of her ex-legal husband’s bills, which totaled £50,000 (about $1.4 million in today’s money).
Her money began to decline over the following decades. In an attempt to capitalize on her public fame, she decided to offer her London home to the public for a fee. According to London Underground, she was kicked out of the hotel she was staying in in 1990 because she could no longer pay her rent and bills.
She died in a nursing home in 1993, when she was 80 and had very little money.
During this time, the Duke married just four months after his divorce from Margaret was officially completed. According to her 1975 memoir, Forget Not, her ex-husband secretly courted his future wife while they were still married, and she was a victim of it. The Duke died in 1973 at the age of 69.