Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon

Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon

Born Aug 21, 1930

Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon was the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II and the younger daughter of King George VI. Margaret spent much of her childhood years in the company of her older sister and parents. Her life changed dramatically in 1936, when her paternal uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated to marry the divorced American Wallis Simpson. Margaret's father became King in Edward's place, and her older sister became heiress presumptive with Margaret second in line to the throne. During World War II, the two sisters stayed at Windsor Castle, despite government pressure to evacuate to Canada. During the war years, Margaret was not expected to perform any public or official duties, and instead continued her education. After the war, she fell in love with a divorced older man, Group Captain Peter Townsend, her father's equerry. Her father died at around the same time, and her sister became Queen. Many in the government felt that Townsend was an unsuitable husband for the Queen's sister, and the Church of England refused to countenance the marriage. Under pressure, Margaret chose to abandon her plans, and instead accepted the proposal of the photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, who was created Earl of Snowdon by Elizabeth II. The marriage, despite an auspicious start, soon became unhappy; the couple divorced in 1978. Margaret was often viewed as a controversial member of the Royal Family. Her divorce earned her negative publicity, and she was romantically linked with several men. Her health gradually deteriorated in the final two decades of her life; a heavy smoker all her adult life, she had a lung operation in 1985, a bout of pneumonia in 1993, and at least three strokes between 1998 and 2001. Margaret died at King Edward VII Hospital, London on 9 February 2002. After a private funeral, her body was cremated. Two months later, after the death of her mother, Margaret's ashes were interred beside the bodies of her parents in the George VI Memorial Chapel at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon.


She was baptised in the private chapel of Buckingham Palace on 30 October 1930 by Cosmo Lang, the Archbishop of Canterbury. … Read More
1934 3 Years Old The Yorks were perceived by the public as an ideal family: father, mother and children, but unfounded rumours that Margaret was deaf and mute were not completely dispelled until Margaret's first main public appearance at her uncle Prince George's wedding in 1934. … Read More
Margaret spent much of her childhood years in the company of her older sister and parents. Her life changed dramatically in 1936, when her paternal uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated to marry the twice divorced American Wallis Simpson. … Read More
1937 6 Years Old Margaret was a Brownie in the 1st Buckingham Palace Brownie Pack, formed in 1937. … Read More
1939 8 Years Old At the outbreak of World War II, Margaret and her sister were at Birkhall, on the Balmoral Castle estate, where they stayed until Christmas 1939, enduring nights so cold that drinking water in carafes by their bedside froze. … Read More


1945 14 Years Old Following the end of the war in 1945, Margaret appeared on the balcony at Buckingham Palace with her family and Prime Minister Winston Churchill. … Read More
1946 15 Years Old On 15 April 1946, Margaret was confirmed into the Church of England.
1947 16 Years Old On 1 February 1947, Margaret, Elizabeth and their parents embarked on a state tour of Southern Africa. … Read More
1950 19 Years Old In 1950, the former royal governess, Marion Crawford, published a biography of Elizabeth and Margaret's childhood years titled The Little Princesses, in which she described Margaret's "light-hearted fun and frolics" and her "amusing and outrageous... antics". … Read More


1951 20 Years Old Her twenty-first birthday party was held at Balmoral in August 1951. … Read More
1952 21 Years Old After the war, Margaret fell in love with Group Captain Peter Townsend. In 1952, Margaret's father died, her sister became Queen, and Townsend divorced his first wife. … Read More
1953 22 Years Old By 1953, Townsend was divorced from his first wife; he proposed marriage to Margaret.
Margaret married the photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones at Westminster Abbey on 6 May 1960. … Read More


1961 30 Years Old 1 More Event
…  In 1961, her husband was created Earl of Snowdon.
1962 - 1964 2 More Events
1965 34 Years Old She served as President of Girlguiding UK from 1965 until her death in 2002.
1966 35 Years Old Reportedly, Margaret had her first extramarital affair in 1966, with Anthony Barton, a Bordeaux wine producer and her daughter's godfather. … Read More


1973 - 1974 2 More Events
1975 44 Years Old In 1975, the Princess was listed among women with whom actor Warren Beatty had had romantic relationships.
1976 45 Years Old In February 1976, a picture of Margaret and Llewellyn in swimsuits on Mustique was published on the front page of the News of the World tabloid. … Read More
1978 47 Years Old 1 More Event
The couple had two children; they later divorced in 1978. … Read More


1981 50 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1981, Llewellyn married Tatiana Soskin, whom he had known for ten years. … Read More
1985 54 Years Old On 5 January 1985 she had part of her left lung removed; the operation drew parallels with that of her father over 30 years earlier.


1991 - 1993 2 More Events
1998 67 Years Old She experienced a mild stroke in 1998 at her holiday home in Mustique. … Read More
2001 70 Years Old 1 More Event
In January and March 2001, further strokes were diagnosed, which left her with partial vision and paralysis on the left side.
Princess Margaret died in the King Edward VII Hospital, London, on 9 February 2002 at the age of 71 after suffering another stroke.
Original Authors of this text are noted on,_Countess_of_Snowdon.
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