Why did Queen agree to Meghan & Harry wedding but NOT Princess Margaret & Peter Townsend?

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Why did Queen agree to Meghan & Harry wedding but NOT Princess Margaret & Peter Townsend?

QUEEN ELIZABETH II approved Prince Harry’s marriage to divorcee Meghan Markle, but it is believed did not allow the marriage of her own sister Princess Margaret to Peter Townsend. It is thought this is down to a royal divorce rule change.

Queen Elizabeth II, 91, recently wrote a letter of consent for the marriage of American divorcee Meghan Markle, 36, and her grandson Prince Harry, 33.

However, back in 1953, she faced a tough decision when she could not allow her sister, Princess Margaret, who died at the age of 71, to marry her lover Peter Townsend, who – like Meghan – was divorced.

So why did the Queen allow Prince Harry to marry Meghan this year, but did not allow her own sister to marry Peter?

The answer is that an important rule change happened in the mean time, which revised the Church of England’s stance on divorce.

As the head of the Church of England, the Queen must follow its teachings. This is believed to be why she did not allow Princess Margaret to marry in 1953, a time when the Church forbid divorce.

Queen Princess Margaret was forbidden to marry Peter Townsend because he was divorced Photo (C) GETTY
Queen Princess Margaret was forbidden to marry Peter Townsend because he was divorced Photo (C) GETTY

Princess Margaret called off her engagement two years later in 1955, stating “the Church’s teachings that Christian marriage is indissoluble” as her reasoning.

But, in 2002, this all changed. The rule change came as part of the General Synod of 2002, which modernised the Church laws.

It stated: “The Church of England teaches that marriage is for life. It also recognises that some marriages sadly do fail and, if this should happen, it seeks to be available for all involved.

The Queen allowed Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to marry, but did not allow Princess Margaret to marry Peter Townsend

“The Church accepts that, in exceptional circumstances, a divorced person may marry again in church during the lifetime of a former spouse.”

Queen Why did she not approve Princess Margaret wedding Photo (C) GETTY
Queen Why did she not approve Princess Margaret wedding Photo (C) GETTY

The change meant it was possible for the Queen to approve Meghan and Harry’s marriage in an official letter some 16 years later.

Meghan, who is divorced from producer Trevor Engelson, 41, and Prince Harry will marry in a ceremony at St George’s Chapel on May 19 2018.

It also allowed Harry’s father Prince Charles to marry Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall, also a divorcee, in 2005.

A documentary told the story of when Princess Margaret and Peter Townsend, her former lover, went for lunch together, 30 years after their doomed romance ended.

Lady Glenconner, a close friend of the late Princess Margaret, recounted what the princess said after her reunion was Peter.

Queen Princess Margaret was forbidden to marry Peter Townsend because he was divorced Photo (C) GETTY
Queen Princess Margaret was forbidden to marry Peter Townsend because he was divorced Photo (C) GETTY

She said: “Peter Townsend came to lunch with her and I said: ‘What was it like seeing him?’.”

“She said charming, he hadn’t changed at all. I looked out the window and saw him getting out of the car, he was an old man.”

“Yet in her eyes he hadn’t changed. I thought that was very touching.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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