Princess Margaret: Experts discuss 'heartbreaking' divorce
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The Queen’s sister, who passed away in 2002, did not speak to Princess Michael, 76, when she tied the knot with Prince Michael in 1978. Speaking on the Channel 5 documentary The Controversial Princess, royal commentator Viscountess Hitchingbrooke revealed the reason for Margaret shunning her cousin’s wife was because Princess Michael was a Roman Catholic.
Ironically, the Queen’s sister looked into Catholicism later in life after befriending a Catholic priest.
However, she never converted.
Princess Michael of Kent, born Baroness Marie-Christine von Reibnitz, was previously married to Thomas Troubridge and married the royal shortly after her first marriage was annulled.
The Queen’s sister was “furious”, according to the royal commentator, that a divorcee could marry into the Royal Family as she was stopped from marrying divorcee Peter Townsend in 1953.
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Viscountess Hitchingbrooke said: “You can imagine this did not go down well with Princess Margaret, who was told by her own sister, Queen Elizabeth, that she couldn’t marry a divorcee.
“In fact she was said to be furious,” she added.
While Margaret did not need to seek the Queen’s permission from the age of 25, the Princess required permission from the Government.
The Prime Minister had struck a deal with the royal stating Margret would retain her title and civil list allowance but lose her position in the line of succession, according to the documents.
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On October 31, 1955 Margaret announced the couple had called off the engagement.
“I have decided not to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend,” she said.
“Mindful of the Church’s teaching that Christian marriage is indissoluble, and conscious of my duty to the Commonwealth, I have resolved to put these considerations before any others.”
Princess Margaret reportedly was not the only member of the Royal Family to butt heads with Princess Michel.
Royal expert Bidisha Mamata has said Princess Anne, who was 28 when her mother’s cousin married Princess Michael, used to call the new member of the Firm “Princess Pushy”.
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