After her ill-fated love affair with Group Cast. Peter Townsend, whose previous divorce was frowned upon by Queen Elizabeth and the Church of England, Margaret surprised everyone when she married society photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960 after a whirlwind romance.
Their wild marriage was full of ups and downs ( even while they planned their engagement, the groom-to-be was still conducting another affair). Both Margaret and Armstrong-Jones, who became Lord Snowdon after they wed, were unfaithful during the course of their unconventional marriage, which ended in divorce in 1978, and now it seems big sister, Queen Elizabeth, may have approved of at least one of Margaret’s affairs.
In the new documentary, Elizabeth: Our Queen, Lady Anne Glenconner, who was one of the Queen’s maids during her coronation, reveals that the monarch was in favor of Margaret’s extramarital relationship with Roddy Llewellyn, a 26-year-old landscaper who was 17 years younger than the princess.
“It was difficult for the Queen and I felt rather guilty always having introduced Roddy to Princess Margaret,” Lady Anne Glenconner says in the documentary. “But after Princess Margaret’s funeral, the Queen, she said, ‘I’d just like to say, Anne, it was rather difficult at moments, but I thank you so much introducing Princess Margaret to Roddy ’cause he made her really happy.’ ”
Glenconner also recalls the moment she knew the pair was conducting an affair.
“I remember being on the doorstep when Colin [Glenconner’s husband] drove back and Princess Margaret and Roddy were sitting in the back seat,” she says. “They were more or less holding hands and I thought ‘Heavens, what have we done?’ ”
Dame Anne Leslie, who also knew the pair at the time, commented on their relationship in the documentary: “He was a nice, dim gardener, but he came from quite a good family. Anyway, she was having it off with him.”
Princess Margaret invited Llewellyn to her vacation home in Mustique in 1974, and they were photographed on the beach together in Mustique again in February 1976 while she was still married to Armstrong-Jones. The photos made the front page on newspapers back in the U.K., and less than a month later, the palace announced the separation of Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon.
Margaret and Llewellyn’s relationship lasted several during the ’70s. He went on to marry Tatiana Soskin, daughter of the film producer, Paul Soskin, in 1981. Princess Margaret died in 2002 after suffering a stroke. Lord Snowdon died in January 2017.