When you’re 21, it’s a very good year—especially if you’re one of four English royal cousins known in London gossip columns as the “Queenyboppers.” The quartet—Prince Edward, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, Lady Helen Windsor and James Ogilvy—were born within 10 weeks of each other in 1964, and their attainment of majority occasioned a seven-and-one-half-hour bash for about 600 thrown by the Queen at Windsor Castle. A storm dampened the laser light show that got the celebration started, but the party focused a spotlight on what different individuals the cousins have become:
•Prince Edward, long overshadowed by his older brothers, Charles and Andrew, is apparently becoming more self-assured. He played on the second-string rugby team for Cambridge’s Jesus College and has taken to complaining, angrily, that the press won’t leave him alone.
•Lady Helen Windsor, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Kent, is known as “Melons” because of her ample proportions. The most colorful of the four, she was photographed topless on a Greek beach in 1983. She also dated a young record producer, Nigel Oakes who offered to sell the story of their liaison to the press. There were no takers.
•Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, daughter of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon, is considered the most levelheaded and popular with the public. She studies art and is said to uncannily resemble her aunt, the Queen, in personality and speech. She’s also a favorite of the Queen.
•James Ogilvy, son of Princess Alexandra and the Hon. Angus Ogilvy, is known simply as “Mr.” because the inheritable family titles have gone to older relatives. He took a stab at journalism by starting a now defunct trendy magazine, Freeway, and is currently thought to have acceded to parental pressure and set his sights on the business world.
True to form, Lady Helen—”Melons”—was at the center of the party’s only controversy. Her ex-boyfriend, Oakes, crashed the event and was escorted out by police. He was booked on an old charge of failing to produce his driving documents. He later quipped to the press that he had, in effect, been booked for dancing without a license.