Princess Margaret's 1978 Divorce "Cleared The Way" For Other Royal Couples To Split, Expert Says
Princess Margaret's divorce in 1978 "cleared the way" for other royal couples to split up in the future, a royal expert claims in the upcoming Channel 5 documentary Princess Margaret: A Rebel Without A Crown.
A new documentary airing this Saturday on Channel 5, Princess Margaret: A Rebel Without a Crown, takes a closer look at the life of Princess Margaret and also claims that her 1978 divorce actually paved the way for other royal splits in future years.
Princess Margaret divorced her husband, photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones, after 18 years of marriage that was, as many experts have said, doomed from the beginning.
In the documentary, royal experts examine the very different royal life of Princess Margaret, who passed away at 71 in 2002, from her affair with Peter Townsend to her marriage to the photographer Armstrong-Jones, who became the 1st Earl of Snowden by marrying into the royal family in 1960.
Princess Margaret: Divorce was inevitable
Former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond talks about Margaret's divorce in 1978 and what it meant for other unhappy royal couples: "She did tarnish the family's reputation but she cleared the way for others to get out of unhappy marriages."
And royal biographer Christopher Warwick claims that Margaret's popularity with the show business world made her nearly as popular as Elizabeth Taylor: "Everything she did made news. The press only wanted pictures of Margaret and Taylor," he said. "Margaret would go to parties and the sun would often be rising as she was driving home."
But Margaret's marriage was not meant to last - both she and her husband entered into extra-marital affairs and they were eventually divorced in 1978, paving the way for other royals. Margaret's niece, Princess Anne, also got a divorce in 1992 and - of course - there was the global news story about Prince Charles and Princess Diana's separation in 1992.