Drawing a Line of Succession ? About That Time Brian Cox Was 'Touched Up' by Princess Margaret...

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Brian Cox Princess Margaret
Brian Cox Princess Margaret

HBO; Alamy

Princess Margaret was a well-known fan of the arts, but Succession star Brian Cox claims he was once part of a command performance for the royal when he was a young West End theater actor.

Now 75, Cox shared an excerpt from his memoir The Rabbit in the Hat with the Mail on Saturday. In the passage, he recalls a run-in with the "rebel royal" after a 1969 performance of the play In Celebration at the Royal Court Theatre in London.

The meet-and-greet with Margaret and her then-husband, Lord Snowdon, happened to coincide with Cox's June 1 birthday, and the Scottish actor got a gift he could not have expected.

"I was wearing a red shirt, given to me as a present by the director Lindsay Anderson, and looked very swish as I was introduced to HRH in a corner of the room," he writes.

Briand Cox
Briand Cox

TV Times/Getty

After the princess told Cox she was "transfixed" by him, Cox says "The conversation duly moved on to the fact that it was my birthday and that I'd been given this lovely red shirt by Lindsay Anderson."

He continues that Margaret then "put a hand to my chest, undid one button and slid her hand inside. I froze. Her hand was inside my shirt and travelling in the direction of my left nipple, yet the princess was just chatting away as though this was something she had done a hundred times before."

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Princess Margaret And Lord Snowdon In Washington
Princess Margaret And Lord Snowdon In Washington

Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Getty

Cox shares that one of his costars was standing in such a way that he was "creating a barrier" to the others in the room, including the princess's husband, when his panic started to flare up.

"And with the whole terrible surreality of the situation threatening to engulf me, I found some semblance of composure and blurted out, 'Oh, Ma'am, I have to return to my dressing room. I've left something there.'"

"And with that," he writes. "I beat a hasty retreat, bowing and scraping, and sliding past Jimmy Bolam to head for the door and out to safety."

RELATED: Succession Cast Members Speculate How the Roy Family Would Endure Quarantine Together: 'Death!'

Years later, Cox would win a Golden Globe for playing the irascible media mogul Logan Roy, whose obscene signature phrase might have been useful during that unexpectedly hands-on bonding moment with the princess.

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