||Mick is a tremendous snob, says Marianne
By Hugh Davies, Entertainment Correspondent
Marianne Faithfull has publicly teased her former boyfriend, Mick Jagger, calling him a "tremendous snob" for accepting a knighthood.
The singer spoke in the wake of reports that the Queen knighted the rock star in her Jubilee honours list to fulfil a last request of Princess Margaret before her death in February.
The Princess, who used to see Sir Mick regularly on the Caribbean island of Mustique, where both had villas, often said the Rolling Stone singer was "lovely".
The star himself has mentioned the fact that there had been a debate, going back to 1966, about "whether I'm in the establishment or not".
Faithfull, 55, was the girlfriend of both Keith Richards and Jagger. She was asked by the BBC's Sue MacGregor, who received a CBE in the same honours list, what to make of the performer's acceptance of the title.
"Not much," she replied. It was hardly a surprise to her, she said. "He always wanted that so much, that's why I'm sort of compassionate about it. I think if he wanted it so much then he should have it."
She likened the knighthood to that conferred on Sir Noel Coward. "He wanted it a lot too. Both Mick and Noel Coward come from very similar backgrounds and they were both tremendous snobs, and Noel Coward didn't get his knighthood for a long time really because of his homosexuality, and that was disgraceful.
"And Mick didn't get his. I don't know why, but it seems as if he was just too bohemian still. Mick is bohemian - but not that bohemian."
Faithfull spoke to the former BBC Today presenter for her new programme, Fifty Years On, a six-part Radio 4 series that begins on Wednesday.
Sir Mick, 58, who is preparing with the Rolling Stones for a 40th anniversary tour beginning in Boston in September, has also mentioned Coward's honour coming at "a late age". He said: "I didn't expect to get one. Whether I deserve one or not, is not my place to say."
The convent-educated Faithfull was discovered at 17 at a party by Andrew Loog Oldham, the Rolling Stones manager who, impressed by her angelic appearance, thought she had a look that was perfectly in tune with swinging London.
He signed her to Decca and her ballad, As Tears Go By, donated to her by Jagger and Richards, reached number nine in the British charts and No 22 in America. It remains her biggest international hit. Faithfull told MacGregor that when she first set eyes on Jagger "I thought he was interesting" but not extraordinary.
She was with Jagger at Richards's home in West Wittering, West Sussex, when police raided the house in 1967.
"It was my first acid trip. We'd had a wonderful day and in fact were just calming down. We'd been on drugs all day. By the time the cops came, which was about eleven o'clock at night, we were pretty normal actually."
Faithfull recalled there were "25 of them" and "Mick took the rap for me". Jagger was sentenced to three months in prison for possessing four benzedrine tablets. The penalty was reduced on appeal to a conditional discharge.
Richards was jailed for a year for allowing his home to be used for the smoking of cannabis. His conviction was quashed on appeal.
Faithfull said: "I still think it's insane, the whole thing. I have always thought it was a set-up. They knew so little about it, they picked up a piece of hash from Mick's pocket, thought it was a bit of dirt and put it back again.
"But they did find air sickness pills that had a small quantity of speed and was forbidden in England."
Faithfull, who is returning to London to live after years in Dublin, recalled that all she was wearing at the time was a large fur rug.
"Very beautiful I looked in it. The lady [a policewoman] said she had to search me and of course, being an actress and a drama queen, and I suppose, a diva, I went up the stairs and said OK and I just dropped my rug. She nearly died with embarrassment."
The singer, who said she had been in Narcotics Anonymous for heroin addiction, as well as Alcoholics Anonymous, said that she slid into the world of heavy drugs.
"I walked out on Mick, I walked out on all that money, which people have never been able to understand. I wanted anonymity and that's how I got it."