Queen’s dilemma over royal baby announcement exposed

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QUEEN ELIZABETH II was faced with a difficult dilemma over a royal baby announcement.

Today Princess Eugenie announced that she is pregnant and that her baby is due in early 2021. The happy news comes nearly two years after she wed her beau, Jack Brooksbank, in October 2018. Luckily for Eugenie, there was no clash of announcements because her sister Princess Beatrice got married in July this year.

However, the Queen was not so lucky and was faced with a very difficult decision when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew.

During her third pregnancy, the Queen’s sister Princess Margaret got engaged to Antony Armstrong-Jones but their announcement looked to clash with the birth of the Queen’s second son.

The Queen was therefore forced to ask her sister to delay her announcement until after the birth.

The reason this was such a hard thing for her to ask was because Margaret, who died in 2002, had had a very turbulent love life up to that point.

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Queen Elizabeth II had an awful dilemma when she was pregnant with Prince Andrew (Image: GETTY)

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Princess Margaret’s engagement photography with Antony Armstrong-Jones (Image: GETTY)

She had originally wanted to marry Group Captain Townsend but because he was divorced, the Queen could not condone the match, despite personally supporting her sister.

In 1953, the Church of England, of which the Queen was the head, refused to countenance the remarriage of the divorced.

What’s more, the Queen was faced with the British Cabinet, Dominion prime ministers and a Church of England that was dead set against the marriage.

The Queen was also busy preparing for her coronation and a six-month tour of the Commonwealth.

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Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend (Image: GETTY)

At first, she asked Margaret to wait until she was 25, when she would no longer be bound by the Royal Marriages Act, whereby those in line to the throne must request permission from the monarch to marry.

She told her sister: “Under the circumstances, it isn’t unreasonable for me to ask you to wait a year.”

Margaret was then forced to spend the next two years apart from Mr Townsend, who was sent to work in Brussels.

Then, when she finally turned 25, she was told she was still not able to marry her love, unless she renounced her right of succession, and clerics advised that she would not be allowed to take holy communion either.

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The Queen and Prince Andrew as a baby (Image: GETTY)

On October 31, Margaret issued a statement in which she explained that she and the Group Captain had decided not to marry.

From this point on, she had a string of flings but did not find anything meaningful until she met Mr Armstrong-Jones.

It is easy to see, therefore, why asking Margaret to put off her engagement yet again was a sore point.

However, the Queen’s word was final and Margaret waited until a week after Andrew was born before making her announcement from Clarence House.

These days, there are no such barriers to royals getting divorced and remarried.

Indeed, Prince Andrew himself was divorced ‒ although not remarried ‒ and both Prince Charles and Princess Anne both got divorced and remarried.

As Charles is the future King, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall may be the first wife of a King to be divorced herself.

However, it is still believed to be royal protocol that announcements should not clash.

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The Queen pushing Prince Andrew in a pram with Princess Anne walking alongside (Image: GETTY)

This means that Princess Eugenie may well have waited to start her family, or at least make her announcement, until her older sister Beatrice got married.

Beatrice was originally supposed to wed Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in May but their big day was cancelled due to coronavirus.

They finally tied the knot in a small ceremony in Windsor in July.

Source: EXPRESS CO UK