Did you know Queen Elizabeth had a younger sister named Princess Margaret? Sadly, Margaret passed away at age 71 in February 2002 after suffering several strokes. Prior to her death, Elizabeth's only sibling was known to be quite a controversial member of the royal family. Margaret's life and loves have again been publicized with Netflix's new hit show, The Crown, which tells the story of Elizabeth's upbringing, accession to the British throne, and life as queen. Scroll down to read everything you need to know about the late Princess Margaret!
How many years apart in age are Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret?
Elizabeth — now 91 years old — was born on April 21, 1926. Four years later, her younger sister, Margaret, was born on Aug. 21, 1930. At the time of her birth, Margaret was fourth in the line of succession to the British throne. The duo's parents are the late King George VI and Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. As a young girl, Margaret affectionally called her big sister "Lillibet," which remains the Queen's nickname today. Margaret was known as "Margot" within the royal family.
Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth in 1942. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Who was Princess Margaret's husband?
Margaret married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones at London's Westminster Abbey on May 6, 1960. Their wedding was the first royal nuptials to be broadcast on television and it attracted more than 300 million viewers worldwide. The royal couple unfortunately divorced in July 1978 after 18 years of marriage. Antony recently passed away at age 86 in January 2017.
Prior to her marriage, a then 22-year-old Margaret had a secret romance with 38-year-old Peter Townsend, a divorcee and royal family employee. Peter later proposed to Margaret in 1953 and the princess informed her sister, Queen Elizabeth, of their desire to marry. Their request was unfortunately denied because the Church of England refused the remarriage of divorced individuals. After waiting years for Elizabeth and the British government to approve their union, Margaret and Peter split in 1955, much to the public's dismay.
Does Princess Margaret have children?
Yes, Margaret was a mother to two children with her husband, Antony. Their son, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon was born in November 1961 and their daughter, Lady Sarah Chatto, was born May in 1964. David, 56, and his wife, Serena Armstrong-Jones, Countess of Snowdon, are now parents to two kids: son Charles Patrick Inigo Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, 18, and daughter Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, 15. Sarah, 53, and her husband, Daniel Chatto, are similarly parents-of-two to sons Samuel Chatto, 21, and Arthur Chatto, 18.
Why was Princess Margaret known for being controversial?
First, Margaret's taboo relationship with Peter garnered mega media attention and Brits were devastated when they separated because they could not marry. Years later, her divorce from husband Antony brought negative publicity for both Margaret and the royal family. She is now known for paving the way for public acceptance of divorce within the monarchy. Margaret also reportedly had several affairs during her marriage and later claimed she was romantically involved with Mick Jagger and Warren Beatty. She was additionally known for her lavish fashion and frivolity and was a heavy smoker and drinker from a young age.
Princess Margaret with her husband on their wedding day. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)