20 March 2015

Today's Princess: Margaret Rose

Princess Margaret with her older
sister Princess Elizabeth and 
grandmother Queen Mary
via Wikimedia Commons

"I shall call her Bud," Lilibet is said to have declared when meeting her new sister, Princess Margaret Rose (1930-2002), "because she isn't a real rose yet." Queen Elizabeth II's sister certainly blossomed into a royal beauty and headline grabber from her earliest days. She was THE princess of the 1950s; a media darling and a favorite around the world. 

Part of her allure, besides how gorgeous she was, was that she was seen as a kind of reverse fairytale princess. After her father's early death, when she was only 21, she had hoped to marry one of his aides, a World War II hero named Peter Townsend. However, the great age difference between them was a mild hurdle next to his status as a divorced man. For 1940s and 1950s Britain, divorce was too taboo and the Princess announced after her 25th birthday that, "mindful of the Church's teachings," she would not marry a divorced man. (Read my post, An Affair to Remember.)

Instead, she became the first modern British royal to become a divorcee when her marriage with society photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones (who was raised to peerage as Earl of Snowdon upon their wedding) broke up in the late 1970s amidst rumors of her infidelity. The couple had two children, furniture designer David Viscount Linley (now 2nd Earl Snowdon) and artist Lady Sarah Chatto.

Princess Margaret continued to take on royal duties in support of her sister The Queen, until her downspiraling health overwhelmed her. She was able to continue working even after having a lung removed in her fifties just as had happened to her father. However, a series of strokes began to debilitate her, impacting both her vision and her mobility. She passed away at age 71, weeks before the death of her 101-year-old mum, The Queen Mother.

Margaret is remembered for her sparkling wit, musical talents, and bright mind. If she had not been a princess, she certainly could have made a career for herself among the actors, musicians and artists who were among her closest friends.

For more about Margaret:
Behind the Royal Door: Princess Margaret on Royal Central
The Coolest Royal on Retro Kimmer's Blog
Flashback Friday: The Fabulous Princess Margaret on The Royal Order of Sartorial Splendor
HRH Princess Margaret on Addicted Diamonds
The Late Princess Margaret on The British Monarchy
Portraits of Princess Margaret on Arrayed in Gold
Princess Margaret on Lifetime
Princess Margaret's Persian Turquoise Tiara on Artemisia's Royal Jewels
Royal Princess, Royal Scandal on Scandalous Women

Blogs about Margaret:
F**k Yeah Princess Margaret on Tumblr
Margaret of Snowdon on Tumblr

Books about Margaret:

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