Their Unique Marriage: An Inside Look at Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones

princess margaret wedding

Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, younger sister of the Queen, and “wild child” of the royal family is a character that has received a lot of attention in the Netflix series The Crown. Fans of the show are very familiar with Princess Margaret.

Princess Margaret was known for doing things her own way in virtually every facet of her life, frequently violating royal protocol and disregarding age-old tradition in the process.

It should therefore not come as a surprise that her wedding in 1960 to Antony Armstrong-Jones was also the same, and this included the wedding tiara that Princess Margaret opted to wear. At Westminster Abbey on May 6, 1960, Princess Margaret wed Antony Armstrong-Jones. The ceremony took place.

There were over 300 million spectators from all over the world who tuned in to see the historic event, which was the first time in history that a royal wedding was shown live on television. This is how the day progressed in its entirety.

Also Read: How did Princess Diana die? Truth Behind Her Tragic Car Crash 

Princess Margaret Wedding: A Romantic Relation

All about Princess Margaret's Wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones

When Antony Armstrong-Jones was hired to photograph Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, and their kids at Buckingham Palace, he first got to know the Royal Family. The photographer first met Princess Margaret the next year at a dinner party hosted by the princess’s aide-de-camp, Lady Elizabeth Cavendish.

The two didn’t begin dating until much later in 1958, when Antony was commissioned to take photographs of Princess Margaret for a royal publication. The young prince subsequently confessed to the biographer Christopher Warwick, “I enjoyed his company very much, but I didn’t pay a lot of notice of him because I thought he was strange.”

On the other hand, their courtship was a closely guarded secret, and the princess would sneak into his studio to pay him discreet visits. “Yes, he would join her at gatherings, but no one could pinpoint which man she was interested in,” claimed author Anne de Courcy.

“No one could pinpoint which man she was interested in.” The press concentrated their attention mostly on the individuals who were considered to be qualified. They did not consider Tony, who was typically operating in the background.

However, the fact that they were romantically involved was not the only thing Antony attempted to conceal. There have been rumours that the photographer cheated on his girlfriend with other women when the couple was dating, notably with Jacqueline Chan and model Gina Ward.

Read More: Queen Elizabeth II And Princess Diana: Royal Family Secrets

Princess Margaret Wedding: The Proposal

Although the couple wouldn’t make their engagement public for several months, it is said that Antony proposed to the princess the day she found out that her ex-fiance, Captain Peter Townsend, was remarrying.

In the end, the princess revealed to Jonathan Aitken of the parliament, “The next evening, after reading Peter’s letter in the morning, I made the decision to wed Tony. I had absolutely no desire to be married. I did it for what reason? Since he begged me to! He was really such a wonderful guy back then, though. I suppose he opened up a new universe for me.”

Princess Margaret Wedding: The engagement

Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones pictured after they announced their engagement

Margaret had kept Armstrong-Jones, a fashion photographer, a secret from him up until their engagement. As her new love interest was a “commoner,” royal courtiers were rumoured to be against the romance. It had only been a few years since the heartbroken princess called things off with Captain Peter Townsend.

Around two years after their initial encounter at a dinner gathering, Armstrong-Jones and Margaret made their engagement public in February 1960. The princess received a rosebud-shaped ruby engagement ring made by her future spouse. This may have been a tribute to Margaret’s middle name, Rose.

Princess Margaret Wedding

May 6, 1960: A Historic Royal Wedding

The first royal wedding to be broadcast live for the entire world to see occurred on Princess Margaret’s wedding day, making royal history once more.

As is customary, on May 6, 1960, the Princess and her brother-in-law Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, travelled in the Glass Coach from Clarence House to Westminster Abbey. Prince Phillip would accompany Margaret down the aisle and hand her away because her father, King George VI, had died years ago.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, officiated the service in front of more than 2,000 spectators as the Princess said “I do.” Armstrong-Jones was given the title of Lord Snowdon after they were formally pronounced husband and wife.

Princess Margaret and her new husband made a direct after-ceremony appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony with other members of the Royal Family, following Kate and William. Similar to prior royal marriages, the group promptly reassembled for a wedding breakfast with 120 guests at the palace.

Princess Margaret Wedding Dress

The understated elegance of Princess Margaret’s wedding gown has ensured that it has stood the test of time as one of the most recognisable examples of a royal wedding dress.

Norman Hartnell, the same designer who created the wedding dress worn by the Queen, was responsible for the creation of the dress made of silk organza.

Princess Margaret's wedding dress may have inspired other royal gowns.

Long sleeves, a V-neckline, and a full skirt that required approximately 98 feet of fabric were all components of this dress’s streamlined style, which was designed to highlight Margaret’s desirable figure. To round off her outfit, the bride accessorised with a cathedral-length veil.

It is widely considered that the understated sophistication of the wedding dress worn by the Countess of Duchess provided the inspiration for the off-the-shoulder wedding dress worn by Lady Sarah Chatto, as well as Meghan Markle’s Givenchy wedding gown.

 At the moment, you may view the dress at Kensington Palace, where it is being shown as part of an ongoing exhibition about royal wedding dresses.

Princess Margaret Wedding: Facts

The princess married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960.

The royal family saw Princess Margaret as a trailblazer because of her audacious choice to purchase her own tiara. Later, Princess Diana would create a similar stir when she declined Queen Elizabeth’s Cambridge Lover’s Knot tiara in favour of a family heirloom, the Spencer tiara.

Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle, Princess Eugenie, and Princess Beatrice are just a few women who have received loans of the crown jewels from Queen Elizabeth II in the past for their royal weddings. Princess Margaret, and later Diana, Princess of Wales, would regard picking their own tiaras for their wedding days as a major affirmation of their status within the House of Windsor.

The House of Garrard’s creative director, Sara Prentice, told Vogue, “It’s such a modern thing.” “But back in 1959, she made the decision for herself, contrary to what we are finding more and more often today. For her to accomplish it, she must have enjoyed it.” The bridal tiara worn by Princess Margaret has a few other little-known facts.

Princess Margaret Wedding: The Couple Separates

On March 19, 1976, the princess publicly announced her separation from Antony when she was dating Llewellyn. Statements from Buckingham Palace at the time read, “HRH To each his own, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, and Earl of Snowdon have decided to pursue separate lives.

During her official engagements, the Princess will not be joined by Lord Snowdon. Divorce is not in the works at this time.” Their divorce was formalized in 1978, and Princess Margaret is now known as Margaret.

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Sheetal

I'm a 4th Year student of Architecture Undergraduate programme at Priyadarshini Institute of Architecture And Design Studies, Nagpur. During my studies, I have worked on multiple projects and these assignments have helped me to become a great team player and how to function well in fast paced and deadline driven environments. Some of interests are Sketching, listening and exploring old music, watching documentaries and being an architectural student I like to explore the conceptual angle of every element.

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