How Many Times Was Princess Margaret Married?
The Princess’s First Marriage
Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, was married once. She tied the knot with photographer and filmmaker Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960. However, before her marriage to Armstrong-Jones, Princess Margaret had another romantic relationship that ended in heartbreak.
In 1953, Princess Margaret met Group Captain Peter Townsend, a Royal Air Force officer who served as Equerry to her father, King George VI. The two fell in love, but their relationship was deemed controversial by the British establishment. Townsend was divorced, and at the time, divorcees were not allowed to remarry in the Church of England if their former spouse was still alive.
The situation caused a public outcry, and Princess Margaret was advised not to marry Townsend. She was torn between her love for him and her duty to the Crown. In the end, she decided to end the relationship and marry Armstrong-Jones.
Princess Margaret and Armstrong-Jones had two children together, Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto. However, their marriage was not without its difficulties. The couple had several affairs, and they eventually divorced in 1978. Despite the end of her marriage, Princess Margaret remained a beloved and iconic member of the British Royal Family until her death in 2002.
The Controversial Divorce and Remarriage
Princess Margaret’s marriage to Antony Armstrong-Jones was plagued with rumors of infidelity and tension. In 1976, the couple announced their separation, and two years later, they were divorced. This was the first time in over 400 years that a senior member of the British Royal Family had divorced.
The divorce was a scandal at the time, and it was a difficult period for Princess Margaret. She faced criticism from both the public and the media, with some even calling for her to be stripped of her royal titles. However, despite the backlash, she remained a beloved figure among many Britons.
After her divorce, Princess Margaret remained in the public eye and continued to carry out royal duties. She also began a new romantic relationship with Roddy Llewellyn, a landscape gardener 17 years her junior. The relationship was seen as controversial due to the age gap and Llewellyn’s lack of social status.
Princess Margaret and Llewellyn’s relationship caused a media frenzy, and the couple faced criticism for their unconventional pairing. However, they remained together for several years before ultimately ending their relationship in 1981.
In 1993, Princess Margaret suffered a stroke, which affected her health and mobility. She spent much of her later years in seclusion, but she remained a much-loved member of the Royal Family until her death in 2002.
Royal Protocols and Restrictions on Marriage
As a member of the British Royal Family, Princess Margaret was subject to strict protocols and restrictions on marriage. These protocols were designed to ensure that members of the Royal Family married appropriately and in accordance with the traditions and values of the monarchy.
One of the most significant restrictions was the requirement that members of the Royal Family seek the permission of the reigning monarch before getting married. This was known as the Royal Marriages Act of 1772 and was intended to prevent unsuitable marriages that could damage the reputation of the monarchy.
In addition to seeking permission, members of the Royal Family were also expected to marry someone of suitable social status and background. This meant that they were often limited to marrying other members of royalty or aristocracy.
Another significant restriction was the ban on members of the Royal Family marrying divorcees. This restriction caused Princess Margaret significant personal turmoil when she fell in love with Group Captain Peter Townsend, who was divorced at the time.
Despite these restrictions, the protocols around marriage have evolved over time, and members of the Royal Family now have more freedom in choosing their partners. The ban on marrying divorcees has been lifted, and the requirement for permission to marry only applies to the first six people in the line of succession to the throne.
Margaret’s Relationship with Antony Armstrong-Jones
Princess Margaret met Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1958 at a dinner party. Armstrong-Jones was a talented photographer and had previously taken photographs of members of the Royal Family. The two quickly hit it off, and their relationship soon became public.
Armstrong-Jones and Princess Margaret’s marriage was seen as a modern and unconventional pairing. Armstrong-Jones came from a middle-class background, and his profession as a photographer was not considered particularly prestigious at the time. However, his artistic talents and charisma quickly won over Princess Margaret and many others.
The couple’s marriage was not without its difficulties. They had several affairs, and their relationship was often strained. Armstrong-Jones was known for his temper, and he often clashed with the royal family’s staff. In addition, Princess Margaret’s own struggles with mental health and addiction put a strain on the relationship.
Despite these challenges, the couple had two children together and remained married for nearly two decades before their divorce in 1978. Following the divorce, Armstrong-Jones was made the Earl of Snowdon, and he remained a prominent figure in the world of photography and design until his death in 2017.
Life After Divorce and Margaret’s Legacy
After her divorce from Antony Armstrong-Jones, Princess Margaret continued to carry out royal duties and remained a beloved member of the British Royal Family. She was known for her style, charm, and love of the arts. She was also a patron of several charitable organizations and was particularly passionate about supporting the arts and education.
In her later years, Princess Margaret faced health challenges, including a series of strokes that affected her mobility and speech. She spent much of her time in seclusion but remained an important figure in the Royal Family and a beloved public figure.
Princess Margaret passed away on February 9, 2002, at the age of 71. Her death was met with an outpouring of grief from the British public and the international community. She was remembered as a stylish and charismatic figure who brought glamour and vitality to the Royal Family.
Princess Margaret’s legacy continues to be felt today, particularly in the world of fashion and the arts. Her style and elegance continue to inspire designers, and her love of the arts has had a lasting impact on the cultural landscape of the UK. She is also remembered as a trailblazer who defied convention and paved the way for a more modern and inclusive Royal Family.