Margaret Princess of England
- Category : Notable-Famous-Royal-family
- Type : MGE
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Split - Small (16,22)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Contagion 3
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, CI GCVO GCStJ (Margaret Rose; 21 August 1930 – 9 February 2002), was the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II and the younger daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
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, Margaret fell in love with a recently divorced commoner 16 years her elder, Group Captain Peter Townsend, her father's equerry. Her father died in 1952, and her sister became queen. Margaret told her sister in early 1953 that she wished to marry Townsend. Many in the government felt that Townsend would be an unsuitable husband for the Queen's 22-year-old sister, and the Church of England refused to countenance the marriage to a divorced man. Her sister's coronation was pending, and Elizabeth asked Margaret to wait a year. Margaret eventually abandoned her plans, and, in 1960, 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, and Margaret never remarried.
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. She 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, Queen Elizabeth The Queen 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.