Despite how you may feel about her morally, Princess Margaret’s love life definitely taught us one thing about royals – they don’t joke with their happiness. Once this is jeopardized, the likelihood that it will have a far-reaching effect on their rule of conducts is quite high.
Princess Margaret, the younger daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth faced a major change in her life in 1936 when her uncle King Edward VIII decided to tie the knot with a divorcee and Margaret’s father became the king with her sister Queen Elizabeth turning into the heir presumptive and Margaret second in line to the throne.
Her status as Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, swiftly placed her in the limelight and generated some serious controversies. Let’s explore the interesting facts about the Princess’ marriage that many generations won’t stop marveling over.
Princess Margaret’s Married Life, Husband, and Children
Princess Margaret married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones after they met at a night party in 1958. Their marriage happened three years after she called off her engagement to Group Captain Peter Townsend.
Her relationship with Captain Townsend started in 1952 after the King’s passing. The Captian who was sixteen years older than the Princess was a close friend of her father, King George V1. Their relationship lacked support and was marred by numerous public scandals particularly because of Townsend’s divorce status – the same reason power had left her uncle’s hands. Sad and depressed, the princess called off the affair in 1955.
She and Armstrong warmed-up to each other almost immediately. Their relationship blossomed even though it appeared that Margaret didn’t love him as much as she loved her ex-lover, Townsend. In 1959, Armstrong asked for her hand in marriage with a ruby ring decorated with diamonds in the shape of a rosebud. She agreed to his proposal a day after learning that her ex-lover Peter Townsend was about to marry Mari-Luce Jamagne, a young woman from Belgian. Margaret’s engagement took the world by surprise as nobody knew about their affair until then. In 1960, two years after their first meeting, they married at Westminster Abbey in an exotic fairytale wedding.
The wedding which catered for about 2000 guests was the first Royal wedding to be shown on TV. It attracted many dignitaries around the world among them were Queen Ingrid of Denmark and the King and Queen of Sweden. It also had over 300 million views globally.
After the wedding, the couple took a six-week honeymoon trip in royal yacht Britannia to Caribean. They lived in Kensington Palace and Armstrong earned the title Earl of Snowdown for his marriage to the princess.
However, their marriage began to experience an immediate breakdown
The pair had two children – David Viscount Linley born in 1961 and Lady Sarah born in 1964. Princess Margaret had them through Cesarean section on request. The couple separated in 1976 and their divorce was finalized in 1978 after both had countless extra-marital affairs with different people. Theirs was the first royal wedding to split after Henry VIII’s marriage to his fourth wife Anne of Cleves was annulled in 1540.
Lord Snowdon married again that same year to a woman named Lucy Hogg but the couple divorced in 2000 after Armstrong-Jones discovered he had fathered an illegitimate child. Meanwhile, Margaret never gave marriage another chance.
But after the marriage, she had countless intimate relationships many would find distasteful or unsavory, including one with a gardener 18 years her junior, until her death in 2002.
To be fair, Armstrong should shoulder some of the blame for the various affairs Princess Margaret had. Many close friends and staff have revealed that Armstrong wasn’t supportive and couldn’t give up his photography career to take up royal duties as the Princess had expected. Lord Snowdon was highly motivated by work and as such couldn’t give up his career. Others described him as an uncaring and absent husband. Apparently, he got tired of the royal things along the line and decided to live in his own terms at the detriment of the princess’ emotions.
Is She Still Alive or Dead?
Princess Margaret is dead. She died in King Edward VII’s Hospital, London, in 2002 at age 71. She was known to be a chain smoker who began puffing on cigarettes at the age of 15 and continued heavily for years. This probably exposed her to several health issues. First was undergoing surgery to remove a benign skin lesion and then cutting out part of her lung. When she couldn’t risk it anymore, she ceased smoking in 1991 but continued binging on alcohol.
In 1993, she was hospitalized for pneumonia and in 1998, she had a mild stroke. She also had severe scalds to her feet in a bathroom accident which affected her ability to walk. Margaret later had to make use of a wheelchair to move around and at some point, became bedridden. In 2001, she had issues with her appetite and ability to swallow things. She had further strokes that left her with partial vision and paralysis on the left side.
Princess Margaret was last seen publicly in 2001 during the 100th birthday celebration of her aunt, Princess Alice Duchess of Gloucester and 101st birthday celebrations of her mother. Sadly, the notable Princess died after suffering more strokes that led to heart problems.
Her funeral was held on 15 February 2002, the 50th anniversary of her father’s funeral. The private service was held at St George’s Chapel Windsor Castle for close family and friends.