Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Gentle Readers,

After I told you yesterday not to bother with the movie The Queen's Sister, I got to thinking about Princess Margaret. By the time she died, she wasn't exactly popular in Great Britain. In fact, quite a few people complained about supporting her lavish lifestyle when she didn't do much of anything, other than sell tabloids by creating scandals.

But, really, what's a princess to do? She was raised as Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret Rose, but I imagine that when her father assumed the throne, she began to learn that she was always going to be in second place behind her older sister, Elizabeth. And then Elizabeth had children and Princess Margaret wasn't even in second place any more. She really didn't have a place of importance in the royal hierarchy.

Yes, she was on the Civil List, meaning she got paid by her country to be a princess and attend the openings of hospital wings and such, probably when they couldn't get somebody more interesting. And she had a lovely island getaway and people did things for her because she was royalty, but she had to endure increasing scrutiny and criticism over the years.

I feel a bit sorry for Princess Margaret. When she was a young woman -- and quite the captivating beauty -- she fell in love with a married man, Peter Townsend. And he fell in love with her and decided or had already decided to get a divorce. But her family told Margaret that if she married this divorced man, she couldn't get married in The Church of England, of which her sister is the head, she would lose her place in the line of succession, and she would be cut off and lose everything. She may have even feared she would no longer be received by her own family -- the fate of her Uncle David, who gave up the crown to marry Wallis Simpson.

So she gave in. She made a radio address to the nation stating that she would do her duty and not marry Townsend. Margaret gave up the man she loved for her country and then became increasingly reviled when her life didn't work out so great.

She married and divorced after having two children. Her husband fooled around on her a lot, and she fooled around too, and it was just all downhill from there. Her husband, a commoner named Antony Armstrong-Jones, who became Lord Snowdon when he married Margaret, remarried right after the divorce.

Margaret was alone. She took lovers and was a patroness of the fine arts in Great Britain, something that didn't really interest her sister. Reportedly, she sang well and played the piano and could have been a marvelous actress -- but royalty doesn't go on the stage or play parts in movies.

It's probably very difficult for someone who has been raised royally to achieve true intimacy.

So, Great Britain, after Princess Margaret did as she was supposed to do and gave up her true love, why did you turn on her? I know some of you read me. It's in my stats. So please feel free to speak up about the lost princess.

Explanation wanted, please.

Infinities of love,


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