The world is sadly mourning the loss of another British royal family member.
Princess Margaret‘s ex-husband, photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, passed away on Friday, Jan. 13, the photo agency he previously worked for confirmed to the Daily Mail. He was 86-years-old.
“The Earl of Snowdon died peacefully at home,” Camera Press said in a statement.
The late Princess Margaret — who is Queen Elizabeth II‘s younger sister — married Antony 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.
Margaret and Antony at their 1960 royal wedding.
Margaret’s wedding dress was designed by Norman Hartnell and worn with the royal family’s Poltimore tiara. She was escorted down the aisle by her brother-in-law, Prince Philip, because the princess’s father, King George VI, passed away in 1952, eight years before her nuptials.
During their union, Margaret and Antony had two children, son David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, 55, and daughter Lady Sarah Chatto, 52. The royal couple unfortunately divorced in July 1978 after 18 years of marriage.
Margaret and Antony in February 1960.
Princess Margaret — who passed away at age 71 in February 2002 after suffering a stroke — is known for paving the way for public acceptance of divorce within the monarchy. Three of her sister Queen Elizabeth’s four children, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and Prince Andrew, later each divorced their spouses after Margaret, in part, made it easier for royal couples to split.
Margaret’s marriage to Antony additionally made headlines because of the princess’s prior, highly-publicized relationship with Peter Townsend. Following her father’s sudden death, Margaret — then 22-years-old — began a secret relationship with Peter, then 38, who worked for the royal family and was a divorced father-of-two.
Margaret and Antony with their children, David and Sarah, in 1974.
Peter proposed to Margaret in 1953 and the princess informed her sister, Queen Elizabeth, of their desire to marry — but their request was 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.
Years later, Margaret reportedly accepted her future-husband Antony’s proposal just one day after learning her former love, Peter, was engaged to Marie-Luce Jamagne, who was half his age and greatly resembled the princess. The royal announcement of Margaret’s engagement to Antony came as a surprise to the public, as she kept their romance completely private until revealing their plans to marry.
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