‘The Crown’ season two will introduce Lord Snowdon, the charming man who would become Princess Margaret’s husband. Before binging, here’s what you need to know!
1. He was a well-known photographer. Lord Snowdon, born Antony Armstrong-Jones, originally met Princess Margaret at a dinner party in 1958. They crossed paths again when he photographed Margaret. He was a very prominent fashion photographer, but he was best known for his portraits of famous people. He photographed celebrities like Elizabeth Taylor and David Bowie. He also took the official portraits of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip during their 1957 tour of Canada. Even though his marriage to Princess Margaret didn’t work out, Lord Snowdon continued to be a go-to royal photographer. “Snowdon remained a favorite photographer of the queen long after his marriage to her sister ended in rancor, and he took many portraits of her,” according to BBC. “Diana, Princess of Wales, was another frequent subject.” Although he was commonly known as Lord Snowdon after marrying Margaret, his official title was the 1st Earl of Snowdon. He is played by Matthew Goode in The Crown.
2. Lord Snowdon became the first commoner in a LONG time to marry a king’s daughter. Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle are two of the most notable commoners to have married or will marry British royalty, but Lord Snowdon broke a centuries-long streak when he wed Princess Margaret in 1960. The last non-aristocratic person to marry into the royal family before Lord Snowdon was in the 16th century. Their engagement took the world by surprise, especially since it happened so soon after Princess Margaret’s scandalous relationship with Peter Townsend, who served as equerry to her father, King George VI.
3. Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon’s relationship was initially kept a secret. After Princess Margaret controversial relationship with Peter, it’s no wonder she wanted to keep her romance with Antony a secret. “Nobody knew about their relationship, there wasn’t a whisper about it, ” biographer Anne de Courcy told Town & Country. “She would see him in secret at his studio and yes, he would join her at parties, but no one could pinpoint which man she was in interested in. The press focused more on the ones who were seen to be eligible. They didn’t think of Tony who was often in the background.
4. Their wedding was the first royal nuptials to be broadcast on TV! Yes, really. On May, 6, 1960, 300 million people watched as Princess Margaret and Antony were married at Westminster Abbey. Thankfully, the broadcasting of royal weddings have become a staple since then. Just over 20 years later, 750 million people watched Prince Charles and Diana get married in 1981. Prince William married Kate in a royal wedding that was watched by 2 billion viewers in 2011.
5. They were both reportedly unfaithful while married. After the birth of their second child, Sarah, in 1964, Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon’s marriage started to crumble. Lord Snowdon allegedly started having flings while away on assignments, according to The Evening Standard. Princess Margaret had affairs with Snowdon’s friend Anthony Barton and Roddy Llewellyn, a landscape gardener who was nearly 20 years younger than her. Lord Snowdon began an affair with Lady Jacqueline Rufus-Isaacs in 1969. Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon divorced in 1978. She died in 2002. He passed away in Jan. 2017.
The Crown season 2 will be available to stream Dec. 8. See Matthew and Vanessa Kirby as Lord Snowdon and Princess Margaret, followed by a real photo of the royal couple!
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