Princess Margaret's 'flirting' with Richard Burton 'perturbed' Elizabeth Taylor, longtime friend claims

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton may have had one of Hollywood's most iconic romances, but as it turns out, Princess Margaret played a minor part in their story.

In an interview with The Times, Burton's longtime friend and lawyer Brian Eagles revealed that Margaret, Burton and Taylor once partied together 51 years ago.

The acting duo was in London to celebrate the premiere of the 1969 film "Staircase" and went to dinner with Margaret and several friends at the Dorchester hotel.

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Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth who died in 2002, was known for having an affinity for parties and famous faces. At the time, there weren't many faces more famous than Burton's, leading her to allegedly flirt with the actor over the course of the evening.

L-R: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Margaret. 

L-R: Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Margaret.  (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

“Elizabeth was getting more and more cross as the evening went on because Princess Margaret was flirting terribly with Richard," Eagles, 83, claimed, before further alleging: "He was flirting back and Elizabeth was getting very perturbed about it.”

Burton and Taylor, who were married twice, were close pals with Eagles -- so close that he was trusted with access to her diamonds.

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“For years I was the only person in the world that had the key to [Taylor’s] jewelry, which was kept in a bank vault in England,” Eagles disclosed.

Princess Margaret (1930 - 2002, right) chatting with Richard Burton (1925 - 1984) and his wife Elizabeth Taylor (1932 - 2011). 

Princess Margaret (1930 - 2002, right) chatting with Richard Burton (1925 - 1984) and his wife Elizabeth Taylor (1932 - 2011).  (Douglas Miller/Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

It was even up to Eagles to get jewels to Taylor from across various borders when she attended the 40th birthday party of Princess Grace of Monaco.

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Eagles said that despite a limit on the value of goods that could leave Britain at £50, or about $62 today, he “managed to persuade customs officials to let him through” with two suitcases of jewelry.