Her Majesty’s younger sister wed society photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones on May 1960, in what seemed like a fairy tale marriage at the time. Their marriage appeared at first to be one made in heaven, with a friend telling the writer Anne de Courcy “they could hardly keep their hands off each other.” But clashes of personality and extra-marital affairs soon put strains on the marriage which eventually led to their divorce in July 1978.
The Queen was quick to throw a protective cloak around her sister as she went through the painful process of separating from her husband.
Paul Burrell, a former royal butler, told Closer Weekly: “When Margaret’s marriage was ending, the Queen embraced her.
“Margaret would spend weekends at Windsor Castle in rooms close to the Queen, which she had specially decorated for her.
“The Queen always protected her sister and I think at times she wished she could have been more of a free spirit.”
Lord Snowdon pushed for a separation from his royal wife, after photographs emerged showing her on holiday with her lover Roddy Llewellyn, 17 years her junior.
Royal author Andrew Morton claimed in an interview with Fox News that Princess Margaret had been deeply troubled by the failure of her marriage and had “desperately” wanted it to work.
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She once said: “When there are two sisters and one is the Queen who must be the source of all honour and all that is good, the other must be the focus of the most creative malice, the evil sister.”
Mr Morton said in an article for Page Six that the Queen and Margaret were connected by a strong “primal bond”.
Central to their relationship was Margaret’s deep sense of loyalty to her sister.
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