PRINCESS MARGARET, the Queen’s sister, once revealed the true reason she decided not to marry Captain Peter Townsend, claimed her authorised biographer Christopher Warwick.
Princess Margaret scandalised the monarchy in the 1950s when she fell in love with a divorced man, royal aide Group Captain Peter Townsend, who was 16-years older and had two children. However, the Queen had to give permission for the marriage under the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, leading to a constitutional crisis as Winston Churchill’s Government and the Church of England opposed divorce. But Christopher Warwick, author of ‘Princess Margaret: A Life of Contrasts’, claimed Margaret and Townsend decided not to marry because the “love was no longer strong enough”.
Princess Margaret’s authorised biographer told Express.co.uk: “But the bottom line really is that, and she said it to me, they’d been apart for two years, he’s been in Belgium.
“She said to me, and it’s the only thing she did say because she didn’t discuss the Townsend business even with her closest friends.
“But she did say to me on one occasion ‘well how do you know if you want to marry somebody who you’ve been apart for two years?’ And that was basically it.
“While there was still affection there, the love was no longer strong enough for them to have married.
Princess Margaret news: the “love was no longer strong enough”, claimed Christopher Warwick (Image: Getty)
Princess Margaret news: the romance scandalised the monarchy (Image: Getty)
“So they then took the decision that they wouldn’t. That’s the truth of the matter.”
Channel 5 documentary ‘Royals at War’ previously claimed the Queen’s opposition to Princess Margaret marrying Group Captain Peter Townsend, a divorcee, led to a conflict between the two sisters.
Royal correspondent Victoria Arbiter said: “The Church was not going to give any special dispensation and the politicians were not going to okay it. So it became ever more apparent that the only way it was going to go ahead was if Margaret gave everything up.”
This left Margaret in a difficult position and on October 31, 1955, the Princess eventually put duty before love.
Princess Margaret news: Peter Townsend was divorced on the grounds of adultery (Image: Getty)
Princess Margaret said in a statement: “I would like it to be known that I have decided not to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend.
“I have been aware that, subject to my renouncing my rights of succession, it might have been possible for me to contract a civil marriage.
“But, mindful of the Church’s teaching that Christian marriage is indissoluble, and conscious of my duty to the Commonwealth, I have decided to put these considerations before any others.”
Princess Margaret news: Margaret later married Anthony Armstrong-Jones (Image: Getty)
Royal author Katie Nicholl noted how from that moment the Queen and her sister’s relationship changed until the end of Margaret’s life. She said: “I think there was always a part of her that resented the Queen for not giving that blessing. It certainly led to difficulties and tension.”
Princess Margaret died at the age of 71 on February 9th 2002, just seven weeks before the death of her mother on March 30th 2002.
Margaret was born in Scotland in 1930 – the second daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
Princess Margaret and her future husband, Anthony Armstrong-Jones, were introduced at a dinner party in May 1958. They got married in a lavish wedding at Westminster Abbey in 1960 and were later made Count and Countess of Snowdon.
The royal couple had two children, Viscount David Linley in 1961 and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones in 1964.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK