HRH Princess Margaret
HRH Princess Margaret Rose Windsor Armstrong - Jones, Countess Of Snowdon
Born: 31 August 1930 Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland to George, Duke of York and Elizabeth Duchess of York (later TM King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Consort)
Died: 9 February 2002 Edward VII Hospital, London
Interred 9 April 2002 George VI Chapel, Windsor Castle
Married: 6 May 1960 Westminster Abbey, London
Anthony Charles Robert Armstrong - Jones, Earl Of Snowdon
Born: 7 March 1930
Divorced: 24 May 1978
argaret was grief-stricken by her father's death, and was prescribed sedatives to help her sleep. She wrote, "He was such a wonderful person, the very heart and centre of our happy family." She was consoled by her deeply-held Christian beliefs. With her widowed mother, Margaret moved out of Buckingham Palace and into Clarence House while her sister and her family moved out of Clarence House and into Buckingham Palace. Group Captain Peter Townsend was appointed Comptroller of her mother's household. By 1953, Townsend was divorced from his first wife; he proposed marriage to Margaret. He was sixteen years older than she, and had two children from his previous marriage. Margaret accepted, and informed the Queen of her desire to marry Townsend. As in 1936, the Church of England refused to countenance the remarriage of the divorced. The Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, informed the Queen that the Commonwealth prime ministers were unanimously against the marriage, and that Parliament would not approve a marriage that would be unrecognized by the Church of England unless Margaret renounced her right of succession. Churchill arranged for Townsend to be posted to Brussels. For two years, press speculation continued. Margaret was told by clerics, incorrectly, that she would be unable to take communion if she married a divorced man. Finally, Margaret issued a statement:
"I would like it to be known that I have decided not to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend. I have been aware that, subject to my renouncing my rights of succession, it might have been possible for me to contract a civil marriage. But mindful of the Church's teachings that Christian marriage is indissoluble, and conscious of my duty to the Commonwealth, I have resolved to put these considerations before others. I have reached this decision entirely alone, and in doing so I have been strengthened by the unfailing support and devotion of Group Captain Townsend."
Afte many other romantic interests, including future Canadian Prime Minister John Turner, Princess Margaret's engagement to photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, son of Ronald Armstrong-Jones and his first wife, Anne Messel, later Countess of Rosse was announced. She reportedly accepted his proposal a day after learning from Peter Townsend that he intended to marry a young Belgian woman, Marie-Luce Jamagne, who was half his age and bore "more than a passing resemblance to the Princess". The announcement of the engagement, on 26 February 1960, took the press by surprise. Margaret had taken care to conceal the romance from reporters. Margaret called her fiance Tony. They were married at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 1960. The ceremony could be considered the first "modern" royal wedding thanks to the wider availability of television in the UK. In honor of his Welsh descent, her husband was created Earl of Snowdon in 1961. Margaret was then formally styled HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon.
Princess Margaret and Tony were never quite happy. In February 1976, a picture of Margaret and Roddy Llewellyn in swimsuits on Mustique was published on the front page of a tabloid. The press portrayed Margaret and Llewellyn as a predatory older woman and her toyboy. The following month, the Snowdons publicly acknowledged that their marriage was over. There were calls to remove her from the Civil List. Labour MPs denounced her as "a royal parasite", and a "floosie". On 11 July 1978, the Snowdons' divorce was finalized.