Doomed hero's foreign affair

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The Independent Online
It is a love story so strange that it must be true.


The story of a woman called Margaret and a man called Carrington, who rose to the heights of his profession and then resigned rather than get embroiled in the world-conquering designs of the woman he did not love.


The first time we have seen on the screen the intimate pairings of the close-knit cultural group they called the Tory Party! Watch as people pop in and out of the back door of the house they called No 10 Downing Street, averting their eyes from the camera and shielding their faces from the paparazzi! Gasp as the entire Argentine armed forces come between the man they called Lord Peter "Wimsey" Carrington and the woman they all called "Sir", and destroy a relationship that had once seemed for all time!


A story of heartbreak, and top-level secrets, and memoirs being written, and book-signing sessions at Waterstone's and lots of money being made for no very clear reason.

But that was to come later. To begin with, it was just two people. He was called Peter. She was called Margaret. When they met, it was introductions at first sight. "Margaret, I don't know if you know Peter Carrington. Dora, this is Margaret Thatcher."

"Dora?" says Margaret Thatcher wonderingly. "That's a strange name for a man."

"It's short for Defence of the Realm Act," smiles Lord Peter. "It's a nickname I've picked up because I'm pretty interested in foreign affairs."

"How interested?"

"To the point that I'm going to be Foreign Secretary one day."

"Under me, I hope," smiles Margaret.

Lord Peter chuckles at the slightly risque joke. Later he is to learn it was a misunderstanding; Margaret never tells risque jokes. Later still he is to learn that she never tells jokes. Indeed, she is incapable of even spotting a joke. But by then it is too late.


The story of a man, a woman, a country, a death-or-glory mission to keep penguins in the Atlantic British, and the gradual realisation that love cannot always last if it is only one-sided.

"You like Peter a lot, don't you?" Dennis, Margaret's husband, says to her one day.

"Very much," she says. "So much so that I am going to ask him to look after my country for me."

"You've never asked me to look after your country for you," says Dennis wistfully.

"I asked you to marry me. Isn't that enough?"

"That depends why you asked me to marry you," says Dennis, as the sun sets over Westminster Abbey behind them. "I've often wondered. Was it ... love? Money? Was it the groundwork for a menage a trois ... ?"

"Oh, for heaven's sake, Dennis," says Margaret brusquely, not having enough French to know what menage a trois means. "I am a busy woman. If you want to know why I proposed, ask one of my assistants. They can look it up for you."


The story of a woman who won a war - but lost the battle to keep the man she wanted at her side! "You're a hereditary peer, aren't you?" says Margaret to Peter one day.

"It's true," he admits. "Does it alter things between us?"

"Of course it does," she snaps. "It means I can never give you a peerage, like I can to that little fool Archer. A man that I can't give a peerage to, Peter, is ... someone very special."


The story of a man who found himself caught up in a conflict of loyalty to a woman who was stronger than any woman he had met, perhaps too strong for her own good. A woman whom he knew he had to get away from for his own good. And yet a woman over whom he felt unaccountably jealous when he found her holding a note from - another man.

"Who is it from, Margaret?"

"You don't know him, Peter," she teases. "He is called General Galtieri."

"What does he want?"

"He wants me to give him the Falkland Islands."

"And are you going to?"

"That depends, Peter. Would you fight to stop him? To protect me? Would you go to war for my sake?"

Her mocking smile overpowers him. He knows it is now or never. Where he gets the strength from, he will never know. "I wish you luck with this man, Margaret, but you are on your own now. Our paths must divide. We may never meet again."

As he leaves the room, he has to fight hard to ignore her pleading. But he knows he will never be safe from her now. Once roused, Margaret will stop at nothing to get her revenge.


The story of a man who knew he could not hide.

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