Princess Margaret

full name |
Princess Margaret Rose
dob |
died |

Disobedience is my joy

Often viewed as a controversial member of the Royal family due to her love affairs, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II was always a character.

Born on 21 August 1930 at Glannis Castle in Scotland, Princess Margaret Rose was the youngest daughter of Prince Albert, Duke of York and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon. She was fourth in line to the throne and was treated as a Royal Highness throughout her childhood, which was largely spent at the family town house in London or the Royal Lodge in Windsor. Margaret was educated alongside her elder sister, the future Queen Elizabeth II, by their Scottish governess Marion Crawford.

Rumours abounded that the youngest York daughter was deaf and dumb until she made her first public appearance at her uncle Prince George's wedding in 1934. In 1936, Margaret became second in line to the throne as her uncle Edward VIII abdicated to marry the American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Her father became King George VI.

After the outbreak of the second world war in 1939, the two princesses were sent to Windsor Castle for the remainder of the conflict despite prime minister Winston Churchill urging their mother to send them to the safety of Canada. Elizabeth refused as she wanted to stay in London with her husband

In 1947, she made her first foreign trip abroad when she joined her parents and sister on a three-month tour of South Africa. They were accompanied by the King's equerry Captain Peter Townsend. Later that year, she was a bridesmaid at her sister's wedding to Prince Philip.

In her youth, Margaret was considered a beauty as she had an 18-inch waist and "vivid blue eyes". In her late teens and early adult years, she enjoyed socialising with high society and the young aristocratic set. She was often seen in the press at balls, night clubs and parties. The number of her official engagements also increased.

In 1951, she celebrated her 21st birthday at Balmoral and was appointed one of the Counsellors of State when her father became ill with lung cancer. He died in 1952, making Elizabeth queen. Margaret had to use sedatives to help her sleep as she was grief-stricken.

Margaret fell in love with Peter Townsend and by 1953 he was divorced with two children. Despite being 16 years older than Margaret she accepted his marriage proposal. The marriage was opposed by her mother, the church and Winston Churchill as Margaret's uncle had abdicated in order to marry a divorcee. She later issued a statement saying she had decided not to marry Townsend.

In May 1960, she married society photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, with whom she had two children called David and Sarah. Margaret became the Countess of Snowdon and even though she carried out official duties for her sister, she was often criticised by the press for her frivolous behaviour.

The couple drifted apart and Margaret had an affair with younger man Roddy Llewellyn, which became public when photos of them together in swimsuits at her villa in Martinique were printed. In 1978, Margaret and Armstrong-Jones got divorced leading to negative press.

In later life, Margaret was plagued with illness as she had been a heavy smoker. In 1985 she had a lung removed and in 1998 she suffered a mild stroke. This was followed in 2001 with further strokes that left her partially paralysed.

On 9 February 2002, Princess Margaret died, just six weeks before her mother. After a private funeral she was cremated and her ashes were placed beside those of her parents two months later.