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Princess Margret

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British princess. Born August 21, 1930, at Glamis Castle in Scotland, as the second daughter of King George VI of the United Kingdom (who ruled from 1937 to his death in 1952) and sister of Queen Elizabeth II (1952--). In the early 1950s, the romance between Margaret--then third in line to the throne after her sister's two children, Charles and Anne--and Group Captain Peter Townsend, a highly decorated World War II fighter pilot and recent divorcй, caused quite a scandal both within and outside of the British royal family.

As the Church of England does not remarry divorcйs--a fact made all too memorable to the Windsor family by the abdication of Margaret's uncle, Edward VIII, in 1936--Margaret was told she could marry Townsend only if she gave up her claim to the throne and her royal income and if she would live abroad for five years. In a speech broadcast to the nation in October 1955, Margaret publicly renounced her relationship with Townsend, who later married Marie-Luce Jamagne, whom he met while serving as Air Attachй to Brussels. Townsend saw the princess only twice more, once in 1958 and again in 1993, when he was invited to the Royal Palace. He died in 1995.

Seen as the "black sheep" of the royal family, Margaret subsequently entered into a tumultuous 18-year marriage to another commoner, the photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones (who became Earl of Snowdon). The two married in 1960 and had two children, David (Viscount Linley) and Sarah. Though both Margaret and her husband were unfaithful during their marriage, the royal family resisted the idea of a separation as far too scandalous. Finally, after tabloid photographs surfaced showing Margaret with her latest flame, Roddy Llewellyn, Snowdon's request for a divorce was granted; he remarried five months later. Margaret continued her relationship with Llewellyn--a gardener and aspiring pop singer 17 years her junior--for seven years, frequently defending his often reckless behavior.

As the turmoil surrounding her private life subsided, Margaret continued to make public appearances for the Girl Guides Association--she now serves as president and chairman of the organization--and numerous other charities. She is a patron or president of over 80 organizations, many of which support children. Her lifelong passion for music and ballet led her to be named the first president of the Royal Ballet in 1957, and she also received honorary

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