People say that you never forget the place where you lost your virginity. And as the romantic blue-grey chlorite walls and conical turrets of Inveraray Castle appeared on my TV this week, my mind swung back to the scorching summer day in 1958 when, as a 17-year-old, I had my first and rather shocking encounter with the opposite sex.
The castle, ancestral Scottish stronghold of the Dukes of Argyll, is the setting for the BBC’s A Very British Scandal, purporting to be a factual account of the marathon Argyll divorce battle of the 1960s, in which the 11th Duke of Argyll divorced his devastatingly beautiful third wife, Margaret.
On that summer day, I was in Scotland during the long vacation from my school in Brighton, standing in the street in the small Argyllshire town of Oban, when I first met the legendary beauty.
Michael Thornton with Margaret Duchess of Argyll 1968
My companion, the society photographer Brodrick Haldane, suddenly called out ‘Margaret!’ to an elegantly…