As The Crown has illuminated viewers over three seasons, Princess Margaret's life was marred by personal tragedy. Denied the chance to marry her first true love Peter Townsend, she entered into a dysfunctional and ultimately doomed marriage. Princess Margaret and Tony Armstrong-Jones' relationship timeline could be deemed tumultuous at best. Here's how everything unfolded, in case you just don't have the patience to wait for The Crown to show you.
Before She Met Tony, There Was Peter Townsend In 1953
According to Time magazine, Princess Margaret was seen brushing off dust from Group Captain Townsend's jacket at Queen Elizabeth II's televised coronation. The brief moment alerted the public to the presence of a relationship between the two. Townsend was a member of Margaret's father's royal team, which is likely how they met. He was 16 years older than her.
By July 1953, Margaret & Townsend Reportedly Intended To Marry
Margaret's relationship with Townsend was complicated because he was divorced, and the Church of England did not allow marriages to divorced people. The country was also still reeling from King Edward VIII's abdication of the throne to marry an American divorcée. In the midst of that, Vanity Fair reported that it was decided that Margaret could marry Townsend — if she gave up her royal title, income, and left England for five years.
In 1955, Margaret Announced Her Separation From Townsend
In a statement, Princess Margaret said she was choosing her "duty to the Commonwealth" ahead of her relationship. "I have reached this decision entirely alone, and in doing so I have been strengthened by the unfailing support and devotion of Group Captain Townsend," she said.
Princess Margaret Met Tony Armstrong-Jones In 1960
Margaret first met Tony, a.k.a. Lord Snowdon, in 1958 and, a couple of months later, sat for a portrait with him. Before long, the two struck up a romance. In 1960, they married in the first-ever televised royal wedding. CNBC reported that 20 million watched on TV.
After Getting Married, Margaret & Armstrong-Jones Had Two Children
Margaret and Tony's children David Armstrong-Jones and Lady Sarah Chatto have both since grown up, married, and had children of their own, per Town and Country. Their relationships have not (at least publicly) suffered from the same drama as their parents' did. David is now 58 and Sarah is 55.
In 1965, Princess Margaret & Her Husband Toured America
The Crown covers this tour in season 3, which really did culminate in a meeting with then-president Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House.
From 1966 to 1976, Margaret Was Rumored To Being Having Affairs
In season 3 of The Crown, viewers only meet Roddy Llewellyn, but there were reports that Margaret engaged with a number of men in the last 10 years of her marriage. It's not clear how many of those reports are true, but she was linked with Mick Jagger, Richard Harris and Warren Beatty, and even Carrie Fisher's father. Two of her reported affairs allegedly have more substantive proof behind them.
The Herald reported that Margaret allegedly dated jazz pianist Robin Douglas-Home from 1966 to 1967, according to letters supposedly written by Margaret. (The Herald reported that Buckingham Palace declined to comment on their authenticity.) And pictures of her spending time with Roddy Llewellyn on the island of Mustique were published in 1976, which eventually led to the final breakdown of her marriage. According to Harper's Bazaar, Llewellyn and the Princess were allegedly together for eight years before he eventually married someone else in 1981.
Tony & Margaret Broke Up In 1976
The couple parted ways shortly after the pictures were released. They had been married for 16 years when Buckingham Palace released this statement: "HRH The Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, and the Earl of Snowdon have mutually agreed to live apart. The Princess will carry out her public duties and functions unaccompanied by Lord Snowdon. There are no plans for divorce proceedings."
In 1978, Margaret & Tony Got A Divorce
Tony quickly remarried after the divorce. Much was made about Margaret's alleged affairs, but The Telegraph reported that Tony allegedly had his fair share as well. The Crown paints his second wife Lucy Lindsay-Hogg as one such mistress. Women's Weekly alleges that Lindsay-Hogg was seeing Tony four years before the end of his marriage.
Shortly after Margaret and Tony's divorce was announced in May 1978, Lindsay-Hogg became Tony's second wife in December 1978. The two divorced in 2000 when reports that Tony had allegedly cheated surfaced. Tony died in 2017, preceded in death by Princess Margaret who passed away in 2002, and who never remarried after her divorce from Tony. She did, however, reportedly meet up with Peter Townsend for lunch in the early '90s. It is likely the last time they saw one another before his 1995 death.