Princess Margaret climbed Windsor (1930–2002), Countess the Snowdon and also the younger sister the Queen Elizabeth II, to be arguably among the most popular royals in contemporary history. Known for she rebellious nature and determined personality, she do headlines around the people for she "party-girl" lifestyle and also her partnership with her father"s equerry group Captain Peter Townsend – a romance the featured in the blockbuster Netflix series The Crown. Yet how much do you know around the royal?


Long prior to the rebellious Prince Harry came on come the scene, Princess Margaret – the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II – created herself as the royal family’s ‘wild child’. Known in the push for she vivacious personality and antics, Margaret to be an enthusiastic ‘party princess’ – drinking, smoking and also cultivating friendships v a selection of celebrities, actors and also musicians.

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It is arguably these facets of Margaret’s personality and lifestyle the make she such a fan-favourite on the award-winning Netflix drama The Crown (in i m sorry she is played by actresses Vanessa Kirby and also Helena Bonham Carter). Yet how much do friend know around the Queen’s sister? We carry you the facts…

Princess Margaret, Countess that Snowdon: key facts

Born: 21 respectable 1930 in Glamis Castle, Scotland

Died: 9 February 2002, at the age of 71

Parents: King George VI and also Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother

Sister: Queen Elizabeth II

Married: Antony Armstrong-Jones (1960–1978)

Children: mr Linley (born 1961); Lady sarah Chatto (born 1964)

Margaret in Netflix drama The Crown: In the first and 2nd season of Netflix historic drama The Crown, Margaret is play by Vanessa Kirby. Storylines follow Princess Margaret’s doomed partnership with she father’s former equerry, group Captain Peter Townsend and her connection with her sister, Elizabeth, and also her romance v Antony Armstrong-Jones (who Margaret finished up marrying in 1960). In the 3rd and fourth seasons that The Crown, Princess Margaret is play by Helena Bonham Carter. In the upcoming 5th season, Lesley Manville will certainly take ~ above the role.

Read more about the the real background behind The Crown here


Princess Margaret was the first member of the brother royal family members to it is in born in Scotland for an ext than 300 years

Princess Margaret to be born ~ above 21 respectable 1930 in Glamis Castle, Scotland, the family seat on she mother’s side. At the time of her birth, she was fourth in heat to the throne v her father, Bertie (later King George VI). Although her parents hoped to speak to her Ann, the surname was vetoed by her grand King George V, therefore they rather opted because that the surname Margaret rose – i m sorry was later affectionately shortened come “Margot” by those close to her. According to the Independent, the it is registered of Margaret’s birth to be delayed for number of days to “avoid she being number 13 in the parish register”.


c1930: Queen Elizabeth, mam of King George VI, through her daughters princesses Elizabeth (left) and also Margaret Rose. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Margaret has actually a variety of other ‘royal firsts’ connected to she name: her wedding come photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960 to be the first British royal wedding to be transfer on national television, while her divorce, 18 years later in 1978, to be the very first for a an elderly royal because Queen Victoria’s granddaughter Princess Victoria Melita ended her marriage to Ernest that Hesse in 1901.

The real history behind The Crown

Want to understand even more about the real occasions from history that inspired the Netflix drama? Read much more from the experts…


Margaret had a close relationship with her sister, Queen Elizabeth II – but fought through her as a child

Margaret and also Elizabeth appreciated a relatively ordinary upbringing for children of your wealth and social position, and like plenty of sisters with a close age gap they no averse to a little bit of sibling rivalry. Marion Crawford, who worked for 17 years together a governess because that the family, composed in one unauthorised biography title The little Princesses that they were “two entirely normal and also healthy” small girls. “Neither was over taking a whack at her evil one if roused,” she disclosed. “Lilibet was rapid with she left hook. Margaret was much more of a close-in fighter, known to bite top top occasions.”


c1936: Queen Elizabeth II (as Princess Elizabeth) and also her younger sister Princess Margaret in the grounds of the royal Lodge, Windsor. (Photo through Lisa Sheridan/Studio Lisa/Getty Images)
Biting aside, the pair kept a near relationship into adulthood. Margaret served as a bridesmaid during Elizabeth’s marital relationship to Prince Philip in 1947, while Elizabeth gifted Margaret a 20-room apartment at Kensington Palace complying with the latter’s wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960. According to Vanity Fair, Margaret mounted a straight line come Buckingham royal residence from her desk at Kensington Palace, thereby permitting the two sisters to typically call one another.


Margaret had actually nightmares of disappointed the Queen

Although their partnership was incredibly close, gift the sister of a reigning monarch may have taken its toy fee on Margaret. Follow to the reporter Craig Brown, writer of Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret, the princess had recurring nightmares around disappointing Elizabeth. As soon as a novelist asked Margaret if she ever before dreamt about the Queen, Margaret responded that she had actually nightmares of gift “disapproved of”.


Princess Margaret (left) v her sister, Queen Elizabeth II, and her baby nephew Princess Anne, c1951. (Photo by main Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Margaret enjoyed a decadent lifestyle

As can be supposed for a member that the royal family, Margaret lived a life of luxury. Follow to Brown, an mean morning because that the princess in she mid-20s began with breakfast in bed and also finished v a “vodka pick-me-up” and four-course lunch:


one extract indigenous Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret by reporter Craig Brown
Luxurious despite it might have been, Margaret’s lifestyle was anything however dull.

“Even by the requirements of the british royal household in the 20th century, Margaret’s life had a soap-opera quality,” to write Dominic Sandbrook in an post for BBC history Magazine. The adds: “It was not a compare she would have enjoyed, since virtually everybody who met she commented on she herculean, world-class snobbery.”


Margaret was known for being rude

Tales that Margaret’s rudeness room well-documented in the media; indeed, it has actually been alleged that some of her employee nicknamed her ‘Her crude Highness’. A popular story frequently cited around the royal requires a dinner party in which Margaret was sat alongside the supermodel Twiggy. The princess is said to have actually ignored her for several hrs before turning to the model and asking, “And who space you?”

“I’m Lesley Hornby, ma’am, however people speak to me Twiggy,” Twiggy replied.

“How unfortunate,” Margaret is claimed to have responded.

Margaret’s reputation for brutal honesty follows her even to this day. Adhering to the casting of Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret because that season three and four the Netflix drama The Crown, reports surfaced that the actress had disputed her part in the historic drama with none various other than the deceased imperial herself, via a psychic.

“Apparently, she to be glad it to be me,” Bonham Carter revealed at Cheltenham literature Festival. “My main thing when you beat someone who is real, you type of desire their blessing because you have a responsibility.

“I inquiry her: ‘Are girlfriend OK v me playing you?’ and also she said: ‘You’re better than the other actress’… the they were reasoning of. They will not admit that it was. It was me and somebody else. The made me think possibly she is here, due to the fact that that is a standard Margaret point to say.”

The real background behind The Crown

Want to know even an ext about the real events from history that inspired the Netflix drama? Read an ext from the experts…


Margaret fell in love through an older male who might or may not have been married at the start of your relationship

Unlike she sister Elizabeth, Margaret was under no immediate pressure to marry. In her early on twenties, she began a relationship with her father’s equerry, team Captain Peter Townsend – a guy 16 years her senior. Townsend had actually two youngsters with his wife, Rosemary Pawle, and also was considered – at least by imperial standards – a commoner on a modest income. Because that the young princess, their partnership was her very first experience the romantic love.

Although Margaret’s connection with Peter Townsend is frequently referred to together an ‘affair’, that is no clear when they started their romance. Townsend divorce in 1952, and also some sources imply that the didn’t end up being close to Margaret until after the fatality of her father, King George VI, ~ above 6 February 1952.

group Captain Peter Townsend, that was when in a partnership with Princess Margaret, pictured getting into a car, c1955. (Photo by main Press/Getty Images)

Margaret made decision her “duty come the Commonwealth” end marrying for love

Margaret’s partnership with Townsend to be revealed come the public as soon as an eagle-eyed journalist spotted the princess affectionately plucking a item of lint native Townsend’s jacket during the Queen’s coronation at Westminster Abbey in 1953.

Later the year, in April 1953, Townsend proposed come the 22-year-old princess. Due to the fact that Margaret was under the age of 25 at the moment – and because she was so closely linked to the heat of succession – the Queen’s consent to the marriage was forced by the Royal marriages Act the 1772. Confronted with an impossibly difficult decision – and also with differing pressures weighing under on she – Elizabeth asked Margaret come wait for a couple of years.

The princess and also Townsend agreed come the request, planning come marry as soon as Margaret turn 25. But just two years later, top top 31 October 1955, Margaret exit the following statement:

“I would prefer it come be known that ns have made decision not to marry group Captain Peter Townsend. I have actually been mindful that, topic to my renouncing my civil liberties of succession, it might have been feasible for me come contract a polite marriage.

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“But responsibility of the Church’s teaching that Christian marital relationship is indissoluble, and conscious of mine duty to the Commonwealth, I have resolved to put these considerations before any others.”

Had the Queen chose to protect against Margaret from marrying Townsend? not necessarily. (Although if the Netflix series The Crown is to it is in believed, Elizabeth had told her sister the she would certainly no much longer be a member that the family members if she go ahead with the marriage.)

The real history behind The Crown

Want to know even more about the real occasions from history that inspired the Netflix drama? Read much more from the experts…


Margaret can have married Townsend – yet there to be caveats

Papers exit at the national Archives in 2004 show that the Queen and also then-prime minister Anthony Eden had drawn up a setup that would have actually permitted Margaret and also Townsend to wed. Over there was, however, a ‘small’ catch: Margaret, and also any kids produced v the marriage, would certainly be gotten rid of from the line of succession. The last draft the the proposal was created on 28 October 1955, just three days before Margaret announced that she would certainly not it is in marrying Townsend.

A copy that the front page of the London everyday Mirror from Tuesday 18 October 1955. (Photo through Bettman via Getty Images)
As Townsend himself placed it, in his 1978 autobiography Time and also Chance: “She might have married me only if she had actually been ready to give up everything – she position, her prestige, her privy purse. I simply hadn’t the weight, ns knew it, come counterbalance every she would have actually lost.”