Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth II, a true dissident within the royal family, profoundly disrupted the traditions of the British monarchy and unknowingly opened the way for her grandchildren.
Harry’s decision to step down from royal office set a precedent at Buckingham Palace. No other member of the royal family had so far dared to break with decades of tradition and duty.
At least not so radically. Long before him, Princess Margaret, his great-aunt, also made headlines with her antics and somewhat upset the monarchy. Starting with her union with Anthony Armstrong-Jones in 1960.
“In more ways than one, Princess Margaret’s marriage was a revolution,” confirms royalty expert Victoria Arbiter in the Channel 5 documentary, Princess Margaret: A Rebel Without a Crown, relayed by Express.
For the first time in 400 years, a daughter of the king is marrying a man without a title of nobility, showing the people “that a member of the royal family could marry a commoner,” says Victoria Arbiter.
Prince Charles and his sons, William and Harry, did the same decades later. Broadcast live on television, Princess Margaret’s wedding brought more than three million Britons to their posts and ushered in a new era for the Royal Family. Those who follow will also be sealed in front of the cameras, right up to Harry’s much-commented wedding to Meghan Markle.
Like her grand-nephew, Princess Margaret has also spawned in circles far removed from the monarchy. The guest list for her wedding is another example of this break with tradition. “She filled the pews with politicians, celebrities, the entire bohemian art scene, with whom she and Anthony had become friends,” says Victoria Arbiter.
Almost twenty years later, in 1978, Princess Margaret again played the pioneering role in divorcing Anthony Armstrong-Jones. It was the first in more than 75 years of royal union, which opened the ball rolling in her tumultuous love life.
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