Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
|Countess of Snowdon (more)|
|Born||Princess Margaret Rose of York|
21 August 1930
Glamis Castle, Angus, Scotland
|Died||9 February 2002 71) (aged|
King Edward VII's Hospital, London, England
|Burial||15 February 2002|
Ashes placed in the Royal Vault, St George's Chapel;
9 April 2002
Ashes interred in the King George VI Memorial Chapel, St George's Chapel
(m. 1960; div. 1978)
She spent much of her childhood with her parents and sister. Her life changed dramatically at the age of six, when her paternal uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated to marry divorcée Wallis Simpson. Margaret's father became king, and her sister became heir presumptive, with Margaret second in line to the throne. During the Second World War, the two sisters stayed at Windsor Castle despite suggestions to evacuate them to Canada. During the war years, she was considered too young to perform any official duties and instead continued her education.
After the war, Margaret became one of the world's most celebrated socialites, famed for her glamorous lifestyle and reputed romances. Most famously, she fell in love with Group Captain Peter Townsend. In 1952, her father died, her sister became queen, and Townsend divorced his wife, Rosemary. He proposed to Margaret early the following year. Many in the government believed that he would be an unsuitable husband for the Queen's 22-year-old sister, and the Church of England refused to countenance marriage to a divorced man. Margaret eventually abandoned her plans with Townsend and married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960; the Queen made him Earl of Snowdon. The couple had a son, David, and a daughter, Sarah, before divorcing in 1978.
Margaret was a controversial member of the British royal family. Her divorce received much negative publicity, and her private life was for many years the subject of intense speculation by media and royal-watchers. Her health gradually deteriorated in the final two decades of her life. She was a heavy smoker for most of her adult life and had a lung operation in 1985, a bout of pneumonia in 1993, and at least three strokes between 1998 and 2001. She died in London on 9 February 2002 after suffering a fourth and final stroke at the age of 71.