Princess Margaret Rose Windsor was the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, but the two of them didn’t share many similarities. In fact, Princess Margaret was often considered the black sheep of the royal family. The two sisters loved and respected each other a lot, but the behavior of Princess Margaret was often quite different than Queen Elizabeth’s. So, here is everything there is to know about the differences between the two royal sisters, Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret.
Growing Up Knowing Her Sister Would Ascend to the Throne
Princess Margaret was only six years old when Edward VIII, her uncle, abdicated the British throne. Hence, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret’s father became King George VI. Hence, Princess Elizabeth became his presumed successor. Ever since the two sisters weren’t treated the same.
So, in order to prepare Elizabeth as a queen, she had to have history lessons with a vice provost from Eton. Margret also wanted to attend the classes, but she was told that it was unnecessary. So, Margaret was taught by a governess and her lessons included music and dance. As their parents knew that only one of their daughters would become a queen, they tried to make up for this. Hence, their father started cosseting Margaret and they became very close. In fact, King George used to say that Elizabeth was his pride, while Margaret was his joy.
Princess Margaret Was Loved by the Public When She Was Young
The royal family was very popular after World War II. Queen Elizabeth, who was then Princess Elizabeth got married to Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, but she was always seen like a more conservative figure. On the other hand, Princess Margaret captivated the public as she was always willing to push boundaries.
For instance, upper-class women weren’t supposed to smoke in public, but Margaret wasn’t afraid and was often seen enjoying a cigarette. Moreover, she has been a real influencer for her time. The public was also very interested in Margaret’s love story with Peter Townsend. Peter Townsend was divorced and they weren’t allowed to get married. So, she was kept from the man she loved due to some outdated rules.
Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret Behavior in Public
The sisters’ behavior was very different when in public. So, Elizabeth became a queen at the age of 25, while Margaret’s life was very different. Margaret used to go to the theater and nightclubs and used to stay up late. Then, Princess Margaret got married to Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960 and used to have fun with the Beatles and Peter Sellers. Nevertheless, she had to follow some protocol, so people around her had to stand when she entered the room and refer to her as Ma’am. Moreover, she also insisted that her sister is referred to as ‘Her Majesty the Queen’ because she knew that she wasn’t a queen.
Likewise, it wasn’t a problem for Margaret to show how bored she is when performing royal duties. In the biography of Margaret’s husband, the writer Anne de Courcy stated that when there was an event being held in her honor, the host asked her to start the dancing. Margaret’s reply was: ‘Yes, but not with you.’
Princess Margaret Took a Lot of Public Criticism
Princess Margaret used to say that when one sister is the queen, the other has to be the evil sister. In fact, the behavior of Margaret really made Queen Elizabeth shine in comparison. Margaret was widely criticized for many things, including excessive expenses. All the money she spent on her honeymoon, her wedding, the tour of the USA, and the renovations of Kensington Palace were a subject of criticism. Additionally, she became the subject of a scandal when she left her eight-week-old baby with a nanny and went to the Caribbean. She was also criticized for not vacationing in Britain as she preferred warmer places.
Nevertheless, Princess Margaret was most strongly criticized when photographs of her with a younger man appeared. She was still married at the time and was photographed with the man on the isle of Mustique. She was claimed to be a royal parasite and even the Parliament was wondering whether she deserved a royal allowance. Then, in 1978, Margaret divorced and became the first member of the royal family to break this rule.
Besides the fact that two royal sisters were very different, they were very close until Margaret’s death. Margaret died in 2002 at the age of 71. Their differences never stood in the way of the fact that they are sisters.