10 Interesting Facts about Princess Margaret – Elizabeth II’s Sister

Princess Margaret

Princess Margaret (1930-2002) was the younger sister of British monarch Queen Elizabeth II  Image Source.

Princess Margaret Rose (Margot) was a British royal and a sister to Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022). From her birth in 1930 to her death in 2002, a lot of scandals rocked her name. Controversies of this nature don’t usually befall members of the Royal family. Let’s dig into her life.

The following are some very interesting facts that you probably did not know about Princess Margaret:

She had an uneasy relationship with Peter Townsend

Captain Peter Townsend was a worker to the Princess’ dad. It was confirmed by close members in the palace that, Margaret fell in love with the divorced man. Townsend was far older than her. At that time, Margaret was only 17. When the bombshell exploded, the royal daughter was given strict conditions that would make her marriage impossible; either she loses her royal privileges or leaves the country for about 5 years before she could get married.

Apparently, Margaret didn’t want to lose her privileges or disobey her church’s advice. So, she ended the relationship. But do you know how their relationship got revealed? During Elizabeth II’s coronation, a camera caught her red-handed; she was holding onto Townsend’s neck (jacket).

She got married to a photographer

Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon

Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon on their wedding day in May 1960. Image source.

After her failed relationship with Townsend, it may shock you to learn that the pair still made vows to stay unmarried. In 1960, the 29-year-old Margaret received breaking news – her ex-fiancé (Townsend) planned to marry a teenage Belgian lady. Acting to console herself, Margaret used one day to accept a marriage proposal from Anthony Armstrong-Jones – he was a photographer.

Sources revealed that Peter Townsend’s Belgian wife closely resembled Margaret. But didn’t matter at all. After all, Margaret and Anthony also had a historical wedding, which took place on the 6th of May, 1960. The ceremony was broadcast on TV to hundreds of millions of viewers.  It was the first royal wedding to enjoy such an honor. Few dignitaries attended her expensive wedding. A lot of people disapproved of her marriage to a mere photographer.

There was a disagreement over her name

After Margaret’s birth, her mother wanted her to be named as “Ann Margaret”. However, Margaret’s grandfather (King George V) held a different name. According to sources, King George didn’t think Ann-Margaret was a cool name. The “Ann” prefix was something that didn’t sound well to the elderly grandfather. In the end, George V won the naming war. “Ann” was dropped, leaving “Margaret”. That is veto power!

Margaret got little education

Margaret’s grandma (Queen Mary) expressed strong opinions which supported that Margaret and Elizabeth be made to attain higher educational standards, worthy of royals. However, Margaret’s mum (Elizabeth Bowes) had a totally different opinion – she didn’t think higher education was necessary for her daughters’ success in life. After all, Elizabeth herself was home-schooled but excelled in life. In the end, Margaret had a substandard education. In any case, their mother regretted her “no education ideology”. Guess who regretted most? It was Margaret; when she grew up, she got mad at her mum for not giving them enough education

She later got divorced with Anthony

In July 1978, Margaret and Anthony got divorced.  Their divorce set Margaret a record; she went down into royal history books as the first member of royal seniority to suffer a divorce. But she wasn’t actually alone; Princess Victoria Melita suffered a similar fate. Nothing was so surprising; Margaret was a known spoilt brat who even engaged in a series of adulterous relationships.

Her Scottish birth was historical

Margaret’s birth in 1930 in Scotland, set a royal record – for over 3 centuries, no British royal’s birth took place in Scotland. It took quite a long time before her birth was registered. The intentional delay in her registration was meant to keep her safe from placing 13th in the birth register. Well, you can wonder all you want. But it was probably a superstitious move.

Princess Margaret’s relationship with Elizabeth II was bittersweet

During their childhood, the two sisters had a rivalrous relationship. Given that their age difference was not wide, their rocky childhood days was a normal thing. However, the situation changed when the sisters grew into adulthood. They embraced love and put their differences aside.  They both offered wedding gifts to each other.

Read More: 10 Major Accomplishments by Queen Elizabeth II

She held a royal title with Anthony

Weighing on the resistance that faced her marriage to an ordinary photographer, it was unlikely that Princess Margaret would have accepted a title. When Anthony Armstrong was given a noble title “Earl of Snowdon” the partners initially planned to turn down the offer, but upon further consideration, they went in for the title. Margaret became Countess of Snowdon. Their change of mind was influenced by a realization that it wasn’t appropriate for a royal prince to live without a title. Even though the two partners didn’t treat their marriage with dignity, it yielded a fruitful son (David) and a beautiful daughter (Sarah).

Princess Margaret received huge parcels of land

As a controversial royal figure, the Princess had more than enough friends throughout her life. One friend by name Collin Tennant gave out a huge portion of land to Princess Margaret. Guess where the land was located? It was on Mustique Island. Rumors later emerged that Collin was one of the many suitors who flirted with the Princess.

Her death was probably related to her wayward lifestyle

Princess Margaret lived carelessly for the most part of her life. At 15 years or below, she got deeply involved in smoking cigars. Towards the latter part of her life, she suffered from ill-health.  In 1985, a medical operation was performed on her lung. 6 years later, she allegedly quit smoking but said yes to alcohol.

As time elapsed, 1993 greeted her with pneumonia.  5 years later, a less severe stroke threatened her life.  She later had a bathroom-related accident which left her with feet scalds.  Her movement was greatly affected as she became bound to a wheelchair. After suffering from stroke, the Princess passed away on the 9th of February 2002, at the age of 71.

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