The tumultuous love life of Princess Margaret
Princess Margaret was free to pursue her passions in a way her sister, Queen Elizabeth II, never was. And pursue them she did, starting with an affair with the married Peter Townsend. In 1952, Townsend divorced his wife and asked for Margaret’s hand. Princess Margaret didn’t need permission, because, according to a statement by Eden, the Royal Marriages Act was “out of harmony with modern conditions.” The only catch? Princess Margaret would have to give up her rights of succession, as well as the rights of succession of any possible children. But the surrounding scandal was too much for the romance to endure. In 1960, Princess Margaret married Antony Armstrong-Jones, a commoner, who was then named Lord Snowdon and Viscount Linley.
The couple ultimately divorced, in part due to infidelity of both parties. In the 1970s, Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon had a nervous breakdown and received therapy from psychiatrist Mark Collins of the Priory Clinic for depression, according to The Guardian. Following a series of strokes, by April 2001 the princess had partially lost her vision and become part-paralysed. According to the New York Times, Princess Margaret built a house on Mustique in the 1970s and spent a great deal of time there; presumably, the Queen was off doing her royal duties at the time, so the two were often separated. But according to Vanity Fair, the sisters remained close confidants, and in 2002, when Princess Margaret passed at the age of 71.