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"I came to represent all the ungainly people, the too-tall ones, the too-fat ones, and the housebound, as I had been, who'd never get the chance to go to China or Buckingham Palace, and who experienced it all through me."

MARGARET, WHITLAM - when criticised for revealing details of the furnishings of Buckingham Palace and what they ate whil

"Sometimes you get out of control. You can be at something pretty toffy and it's so ridiculous, people are so pretentious and you can have a bit of a giggle. Sometimes Gough and I can't look at each other or we set each other going. I think a sense of humour is absolutely essential. And a sense of not being the greatest thing since sliced bread."

MARGARET, WHITLAM - The Matriarchs, Susan Mitchell

"I saw my role as prime minister's wife as being human towards other humans and not treating them badly."


"What am I to do? Stay in a cage - wide open to view, of course - and say nothing? That's not on but if I can do some good I'll certainly try."

MARGARET, WHITLAM - after Labor's historic victory in December 1972

"Bugger the Whitlams... I'm a bit tired of all the adulation. He's almost reached the beatification stage. I suppose canonisation will come, with the obituaries."

MARGARET, WHITLAM - in 1975 when she thought Gough was getting too much uncritical adulation

"Ask me an outrageous question and I'll give you an outrageous answer."

MARGARET, WHITLAM - her opening line to the British media when she arrived as the wife of the Australian Prime Minister

"My main decoration is, I suppose, my conversation."

MARGARET, WHITLAM - The Matriarchs, Susan Mitchell

"Don't be silly, my life is far too ordinary and boring. Anyway I don't want to live in the past, it's the present that counts."

MARGARET, WHITLAM - when asked by Susan Mitchell to write her biography