Icons: Margot Fonteyn

Ballet super star and crowd princess, Margot Fonteyn, was actually born with the name Margaret Evelyn Hookham on May 18th, 1919. At the age of 14, she was enrolled in the Royal Ballet School in the UK where she changed her name to Margot Fonteyn and was groomed to be the next prima ballerina. After displaying natural grace and talents, Fonteyn joined the Royal Ballet’s 1949 American tour where she portrayed Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty in NYC.¬†Crowds were stunned by her performance and she was soon considered the most successful ballerina in the world.

After some time, Fonteyn met unfavorable Panama political figure Roberto “Tito” Arias and the two were married in Paris in 1955. While “Tito” was planning an invasion of Panama City, Fonteyn was made a Dame of the Order of the British Empire in 1956. After a failed invasion and a few more years of decreased work, Fonteyn considered retirement from the art of ballet at the age of 43. Fate had other plans. Fonteyn met her ultimate ballet counterpart Rudolf Nureyev. The two would go on to perform numerous classic ballets together that would become iconic pieces loved by generations. Her final performance was in 1986, at the age of 66, as the queen in Sleeping Beauty; the same ballet that began her road to stardom. Fonteyn passed away of cancer on February 21st, 1991. She is still remembered today as the little princess who stole the hearts of many in New York and would become one half of one of the greatest ballet duos of all time.