Princess Margaret ‘cut off’ Princess Diana claims royal expert
Margaret, the Queen’s younger sister, charmed the public and won over crowds of admirers in her youth. She had a sharp tongue and an appetite for partying, making her the complete opposite of her dutiful and composed sister. She secured the nation’s long-term affection when her first love affair — with divorced equerry Peter Townsend — ended in disaster as both the Government and the Queen prevented the pair from marrying.
Margaret was seen as the beautiful royal rebel who had been left heartbroken up until she wed Antony Armstrong-Jones years later.
Together they represented the epitome of swinging Sixties’ society, with a tight-knit circle of friends who relished a night out.
However, she started to fall out of public favour when photographs of her on holiday with Roddy Llewellyn, her beau who was 17 years younger than her, and her husband filed for divorce.
Photographer Cecil Beaton met Margaret in the early Seventies just as her marriage was beginning to unravel, and formed a damning opinion of her.
He said: “Gosh, the shock.
“She has become a little pocket monster — Queen Victoria.
Princess Margaret and Queen Victoria I
Margaret (L) was the Queen’s younger sister and grew up in the spotlight
“Poor brute. I do feel sorry for her.
“She was not very nice in the days when she was so pretty and attractive. She snubbed and ignored friends.
“But, my god, has she been paid out! Her eyes seem to have lost their vigour, her complexion is now a dirty negligee pink satin.
“The sort of thing one sees in a disbanded dyer’s shop window.”
Margaret also had a sharp tongue when it came to greeting guests.
She once snubbed supermodel Twiggy when they were sitting next to each other during a formal dinner.
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Victoria in 1850 — she had a reputation for being stubborn and determined
Margaret was a fashion and beauty icon in the Fifties
Margaret ignored her for two hours, before asking the famous figure what her name was — only to say, “oh, how unfortunate”, when she learned of the supermodel’s nickname.
The Princess proceeded to take no notice of Twiggy for the rest of the meal, leaving one of the most memorable individuals from the Sixties utterly “mortified” by the encounter.
Queen Victoria was just 4’9” while Margaret stood a little taller at 5’0”, but they shared a sharp tongue and a stubborn streak.
Writing for the Daily Express, Matthew Dennison explained: “Throughout her life it was [Victoria’s] strength of character rather than her looks that dominated.
“Victoria was among Britain’s most forceful monarchs.”
When she was born, her father the Duke of Kent described her as “more of a pocket Hercules than a pocket Venus”.
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Miranda Carter also claimed in Historia Mag that the famous sovereign had a “big, energetic, difficult personality” and was “determined to get her way” making her “a bit of a monster, if a splendid one”.
While there are similarities between the two royals, as a monarch Victoria was always untouchable in a way Margaret was not.
Her decision was more often than not the final say, aside from in Government — even though her public image depicted her as a widow trapped in mourning.
Ms Carter noted: “Beyond the Cabinet and the upper echelons of the aristocracy, few people knew about her bossiness and her interventions.
“To the public, [she] always seemed the incarnation of a devoted, pious wife and then widow.”
A BBC documentary called Queen Victoria’s Children even dubbed her a “domestic tyrant”, and explored how she controlled the lives of her nine children and 40-odd grandchildren, regardless of what they might want.
Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones divorced in 1978
Albert and Victoria fought regularly but were deeply in love
On the other hand, Margaret was pushed further out of the royal spotlight as she grew older and lost power over the years.
By the time of her death in 2002, she was known primarily as “Charlie’s aunt” rather than as an authoritative figure in her own right.
Her cousin Margaret Rhodes, told the Daily Mail: “I do think her life was sad. She was unfulfilled.”
However, the two royal women did share equally fiery relationships with their husbands.
Like Prince Albert, Antony Armstrong-Jones “was never going to spend his time as a permanent number two”, according to biographer Anne De Courcy.
Albert feared that his wife had inherited the madness of her grandfather, King George III, and was desperate to avoid her at times — and so was reduced to slipping notes under her door when she was in a mood.
Antony also left his wife notes but his were horribly cruel, hidden in her glove drawer or among her books, and detailed how much he disliked her.
Victoria was deeply in love with Albert, however, and they are thought to have remained faithful to one another throughout their marriage.
Margaret and Antony both engaged in infidelity and had a bitter divorce in 1978.