When Princess Margaret introduced her choice to interrupt off her engagement to Group Captain Peter Townsend, it was extensively believed that the Queen had persuaded her to place responsibility earlier than love.

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Her relationship with the dashing however divorced equerry was described by Time journal as ‘essentially the most controversial Royal romance since Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson’.

Their want to marry had sparked tumult – as not too long ago dramatised on display screen in The Crown – drawing within the Palace, the Church of England, public opinion and Sir Anthony Eden’s Authorities, which had threatened to strip the Princess of Royal privileges if she insisted on the union.

Nonetheless, a collection of letters has revealed for the primary time that it was not the Queen who blocked the wedding however Margaret herself, who merely obtained chilly toes.

When Princess Margaret announced her decision to break off her engagement to Group Captain Peter Townsend, it was widely believed that the Queen had persuaded her to put duty before love. However, a series of letters has revealed for the first time that it was not the Queen who blocked the marriage but Margaret herself, who simply got cold feet. (Above, Townsend with Margaret in 1947, before romance blossomed)

When Princess Margaret introduced her choice to interrupt off her engagement to Group Captain Peter Townsend, it was extensively believed that the Queen had persuaded her to place responsibility earlier than love. Nonetheless, a collection of letters has revealed for the primary time that it was not the Queen who blocked the wedding however Margaret herself, who merely obtained chilly toes. (Above, Townsend with Margaret in 1947, earlier than romance blossomed)

The documents also show 'how hard the Queen tries for Margaret,' according to historian Kate Williams. 'It gives us a different view of the Queen as someone who did try to put her sister's happiness as a top priority.' (Above, Princess Elizabeth arrives at the Palace Theatre in London in 1946 - as Group Captain Peter Townsend, in uniform, looks on as Princess Margaret emerges from a car)

The paperwork additionally present ‘how arduous the Queen tries for Margaret,’ in accordance with historian Kate Williams. ‘It offers us a unique view of the Queen as somebody who did attempt to put her sister’s happiness as a prime precedence.’ (Above, Princess Elizabeth arrives on the Palace Theatre in London in 1946 – as Group Captain Peter Townsend, in uniform, appears to be like on as Princess Margaret emerges from a automobile)

The letters, part of a dossier of recently declassified Government documents, were written to and from Prime Minister Eden, and feature in a new Channel 4 documentary. In the first, dated August 15, 1955, Margaret (above) admitted her doubts about the relationship to Eden himself

The letters, a part of a file of not too long ago declassified Authorities paperwork, have been written to and from Prime Minister Eden, and have in a brand new Channel 4 documentary. Within the first, dated August 15, 1955, Margaret (above) admitted her doubts in regards to the relationship to Eden himself

The letters, a part of a file of not too long ago declassified Authorities paperwork, have been written to and from Prime Minister Eden, and have in a brand new Channel 4 documentary.

Within the first, dated August 15, 1955, Margaret admitted her doubts in regards to the relationship to Eden himself.

‘I’ve little question that in this time – particularly on my birthday – the press will encourage each type of hypothesis about the potential for my marrying Group Captain Peter Townsend,’ she wrote. ‘However it’s only by seeing him that I really feel I can correctly determine whether or not I can marry him or not.’

In a second letter, dated two months later, Eden informed Commonwealth leaders that ‘Her Majesty wouldn’t want to stand in the best way of her sister’s happiness’.

Princess Margaret and Townsend's wish to marry had sparked tumult ¿ as recently dramatised on screen in The Crown ¿ drawing in the Palace, the Church of England, public opinion and Sir Anthony Eden's Government, which had threatened to strip the Princess of Royal privileges if she insisted on the union. (Pictured, Ben Miles as the captain, and Vanessa Kirby as Margaret in the hit Netflix series)

Princess Margaret and Townsend’s want to marry had sparked tumult – as not too long ago dramatised on display screen in The Crown – drawing within the Palace, the Church of England, public opinion and Sir Anthony Eden’s Authorities, which had threatened to strip the Princess of Royal privileges if she insisted on the union. (Pictured, Ben Miles because the captain, and Vanessa Kirby as Margaret within the hit Netflix collection)

Royal creator Penny Junor stated: ‘I feel this throws a complete new gentle on the affair.

‘We have at all times believed that she did not marry Townsend as a result of she was prevented by the Authorities, by the Church of England and by her sister. However this very a lot means that she did not love him sufficient.’

The truth is, the paperwork additionally present ‘how arduous the Queen tries for Margaret,’ in accordance with historian Kate Williams.

‘It offers us a unique view of the Queen as somebody who did attempt to put her sister’s happiness as a prime precedence.’

It was on the Queen’s Coronation, on June 2, 1953, that Princess Margaret, then 22, inadvertently confirmed her relationship with the previous Battle of Britain RAF pilot, who had been an equerry to her late father, King George VI.

At a celebration after the ceremony, she was seen to casually brush a little bit of fluff from Townsend’s jacket – an intimate gesture which raised eyebrows. 

In tackling the potential ramifications of the connection, the Queen confronted an unenviable choice: compromise her place as head of the Church of England, which didn’t sanctify divorce, or deny her sister’s future happiness.

On October 31, 1955, after reuniting with her fiance amid a press frenzy, Margaret announced: 'I have decided not to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend. (Pictured, l to r: Princess Margaret, Princess Elizabeth and Group Captain Peter Townsend at Ascot in 1955)

On October 31, 1955, after reuniting along with her fiance amid a press frenzy, Margaret introduced: ‘I’ve determined to not marry Group Captain Peter Townsend. (Pictured, l to r: Princess Margaret, Princess Elizabeth and Group Captain Peter Townsend at Ascot in 1955)

‘She was nonetheless very new within the job and she or he was being requested to select between responsibility and household,’ Junor stated.

Unable to sanction the wedding, the Queen stalled.

‘She might see there was a loophole,’ Junor added. When Margaret reached the age of 25, she not wanted the Queen’s permission to marry. So I feel she urged her sister to attend.’

Townsend, within the meantime, was posted to Brussels.

Two years later, as Margaret’s twenty fifth birthday approached, it was choice time and the couple wanted permission from the Authorities if the wedding was to go forward. 

In accordance with the paperwork, the Prime Minister struck a deal through which Margaret might maintain her title and civil checklist allowance however lose her place within the line of succession. 

Some have queried whether or not that compromise was sufficient for Margaret. It definitely didn’t persuade her that she needed to marry him.

On October 31, 1955, after reuniting along with her fiance amid a press frenzy, Margaret introduced: ‘I’ve determined to not marry Group Captain Peter Townsend.

‘Aware of the Church’s instructing that Christian marriage is indissoluble, and aware of my responsibility to the Commonwealth, I’ve resolved to place these concerns earlier than any others.’

Queen Elizabeth: Love, Honour And Crown might be screened on Channel 4 at 9pm subsequent Sunday.



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