In July 1956, Marilyn Monroe arrived in London—on honeymoon with her husband Arthur Miller—to make The Prince and the Showgirl with Sir Laurence Olivier. It was meant to be a happy time . . .
"I am dying to walk bare-headed in the rain. I think England sounds adorable.”—Marilyn Monroe
Marilyn would work during the day at Pinewood Studios, in Iver Heath, while Arthur would write. Then, in the evening, the couple would be able to relax together in their private English country cottage.
But the cottage was a mansion, in Englefield Green, and Marilyn, used to living in tiny hotel rooms and apartments, felt herself being watched. She was, by several of owner Lord Drogheda's servants, who were selling stories to the papers.
And when filming began, all did not go as hoped. Over time, Marilyn grew to hate Olivier; the feeling was mutual.
Marilyn found herself a curiosity for the frequently hostile British press. She took solace in bike rides in Windsor Great Park, in small acts of kindness from members of the public, and in a growing fascination with Queen Elizabeth, whom she longed to meet—and eventually did.
Michelle Morgan is the author or co-author of nine books about Marilyn Monroe, including Marilyn Monroe: Private and Confidential andThe Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist. Michelle lives in England.