Thursday, 17 Jun 2021

Royal snub: Palace staff’s backlash at Princess Margaret’s wedding guest choices

Princess Margaret: Experts on 'traumatising' affair

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The younger sister of the Queen was beautiful, popular, and known for her glamorous style. She married Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960 and it was the first royal wedding to be televised. Although Margaret was hugely popular with the public at the time, unearthed reports reveal that behind closed doors, she was actually quite difficult. In a 2009 article for Vanity Fair, royal author Anne de Courcy reminisced about a situation that took place on the day of Margaret’s wedding which highlighted how some inside Buckingham Palace truly felt.

Ms de Courcy explained that Antony – also known as Tony – had invited old friends from his father’s village in Wales but the bride-to-be chose not to invite any of the Clarence House staff – despite many of them having cared for her for years.

In the article, Ms de Courcy added: “Lord Adam Gordon, the controller of the household, summed up the feelings of many of them in a remark heard by William Tallon, who was standing close by.

“As Margaret passed him where he stood on the top step, as the glass coach waited to take her to Westminster Abbey, Gordon bowed and said, ‘Goodbye, Your Royal Highness,’ adding as the coach pulled away, ‘and we hope forever.”

Margaret caused her staff endless extra work and treated the ones who looked after her badly, reports claim, as well as handing them maddening demands.

Ms de Courcy noted that Margaret’s high-handed attitude towards her mother, the Queen Mother, whom she lived with at Clarence House before her marriage, also rankled with aides.

In the documentary ‘Elizabeth & Margaret: Love and Loyalty’ Christopher Warwick, Princess Margaret’s authorised biographer, sheds some light on the dysfunction that the Royal Family faced when Margaret’s father, George VI, was crowned King.

Mr Warwick said: “George, was very stressed about being King.

“It was very difficult and very stressful.

“He found it hard and so their fun loving, much devoted father was turning into someone who was more short tempered and who was not around anymore.

“It was really difficult for Elizabeth and Margaret.

“Really, the sisters had to get on with it and had to get on with it by themselves.

“Elizabeth and Margaret supported each other a lot during those early days after the abdication.”

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Ms de Courcy further explained that Palace staff were not fond of Margaret’s “frequent rudeness to her mother”, and would ask the Queen Mother rude questions like, “Why are you wearing ridiculous clothes?”

But, in the documentary royal historian, Professor Kate Williams explored the dynamic of the royal sister in the beginning stages of adapting to royal life which indicates that young Margaret may have held onto resentment.

Professor Williams explained: “The fact was that Margaret did not have an education and she has less and less of one as time went on because all of the resources were concentrated on Elizabeth.”

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