Royal Royalties

On her fifth birthday Princess Margaret entertained Peter Pan author James Barrie (then a guest at Glamis). "Is that your own?" he asked, indicating a gift on her plate. "It's yours and mine," she replied, a response which so delighted Barrie that he incorporated it into The Boy David and promised to pay her a penny per show.

By the time the play was staged two years later, Barrie had forgotten his debt. The king, however, had not, and sent a message to the playwright warning him that failure to pay Margaret her royalties would prompt a call from the royal solicitors.

A contrite Barrie drew up a mock solemn agreement on parchment. Sadly, he died before the sack of pennies could be delivered.

[The debt was discharged by Barrie's executors. Of course the parchment itself, the last thing that Barrie ever wrote, was worth significantly more than the royalties.]

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