Engaged Princess

'The Crown' Season 3: Princess Margaret's Ill-Fated Marriage

A sneak peek at some of the ground the Netflix series might cover.

Season 2 of the Netflix series "The Crown" dramatized how Princess Margaret, the Queen's willful younger sister, handled the heartbreak of her thwarted romance with Captain Peter Townsend. By episode 7, Margaret had bounced back as a beaming bride at Westminster Abbey, capturing the world's attention by exchanging televised vows with the dashing, but darkly secretive photographer Antony Amstrong-Jones (later given the title Earl of Snowdon by the Queen). What will season 3 have in store for Margaret? Producers have been mum so far, but with Helena Bonham-Carter now cast in the role, we can only imagine there's more drama on the horizon. Here, a look at the highs and lows of the real-life Princess Margaret's marriage, which may very well serve as material for the show. (Warning: History — and thus spoilers! — ahead...)

A MODERN PRINCESS Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images A MODERN PRINCESS Shortly before their wedding, Armstrong-Jones studies his bride-to-be as she smokes and takes photos during a horse-training event. They met at a party in 1958 and, as dramatized on "The Crown," he took a birthday portrait of Margaret that caused a stir. (The picture showed the princess' bare shoulders and gave the illusion she was nude.) WEDDING DAY Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images WEDDING DAY May 6, 1960: Margaret and Armstrong-Jones' royal wedding was the first to be broadcast on TV. Some in royal circles disapproved of their union because Armstrong-Jones was a commoner. ABOARD THE BRITANNIA Anwar Hussein/Getty Images ABOARD THE BRITANNIA The princess and Armstrong-Jones cruise the Caribbean on a six-week honeymoon. During week 3, one of the women with whom he had been involved just months before marrying Margaret gave birth to their love child, Polly Fry. It would be decades before Lord Snowdon would acknowledge the truth, as borne out by DNA tests. Wrote Fry in the Daily Mail in 2008: "Although we may like to think of our own generation as being wild and wonderful, in comparison to what our parents got up to in the swinging '60s, we are mere innocents caught up in the aftermath of the postwar free-love era." THEY LOVE THE NIGHTLIFE Ray Bellisario/Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty Images THEY LOVE THE NIGHTLIFE With looky-loos peering in the window, the newlyweds smile after leaving Royal Albert Hall, November 1960. FAMILY LIFE Norman Parkinson/Iconic Images/Corbis via Getty Images FAMILY LIFE They'd go on to have two children together: David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon (born in 1961), and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones (born in 1964). MEET THE BEATLES Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images MEET THE BEATLES Margaret and Lord Snowdon greet the Fab Four at the London premiere of "Help," 1965. SHARED PASSIONS Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images SHARED PASSIONS At a ranch in 1965. PUBLIC DUTIES Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images PUBLIC DUTIES Visiting Uganda, 1965. WITH THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images WITH THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT The princess and Lord Snowdon at the White House with Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson in 1965. D.C. DANCING Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty Images D.C. DANCING Wearing a tiara, Margaret takes a spin with Antony. VACATIONING IN THE BAHAMAS DALMAS/AFP/Getty Images VACATIONING IN THE BAHAMAS The couple in March 1967. STAYING ALOFT Fox Photos/Getty Images STAYING ALOFT The princess and her husband on board a hovercraft named after her. FAMILY TIME Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images FAMILY TIME With their children at Kensington Palace, 1969. Today, David is a furniture maker and a former chair of Christie's auction house, and Sarah is a prize-winning painter. FACING THE FUTURE Anwar Hussein/WireImage FACING THE FUTURE The pair were famous for their glamour and stylishness, but the marriage was a tumultuous one: Lord Snowdon's biographer Anne de Courcy has detailed extramarital affairs on both sides, as well as heavy drinking and bitter resentments (Lord Snowdon, de Courcy wrote, would leave notes in Margaret's books listing all the things he hated about her). WITH THE ROCKET MAN Michael Putland/Getty Images WITH THE ROCKET MAN Greeting Elton John backstage at a benefit concert, 1972. HAPPIER DAYS Rolls Press/Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty Images HAPPIER DAYS The couple in 1960, after announcing their engagement. They officially divorced in July 1978, and by that December, Lord Snowdon had married second wife Lucy Mary Lindsay-Hogg. (They've both since passed away: Princess Margaret in 2002 and Lord Snowdon in 2017.)

More Stories About The Windsors



For more FOTO stories directly in your inbox, sign up for our free weekly newsletter.