What Netflix's 'The Crown' Viewers Need To Know About Princess Margaret

Part of fully embracing the new Netflix series The Crown is knowing the players. While many viewers have heard some of the names before, they are hearing the actual stories of the family Windsor for the first time. And people know Queen Elizabeth II, first because she is still the Queen of England, and also, because unlike her younger sister, Princess Margaret, she is still alive. But people are learning that Princess Margaret was the wild child of her generation.

Another member of the Windsor family who was controversial was Wallis Warfield Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor or "that woman" if you are the Queen Mum, says the Inquisitr. But the most important thing to know is that Wallis was the woman that tipped the boat that was the House of Windsor. King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry the twice-divorced woman from Baltimore, Maryland, who was thought to be the ultimate gold digger.

Sure, the scandal of the abdication of King Edward VIII looms large in the Netflix series The Crown, but in the first season, the second royal scandal was Princess Margaret's dalliance with a married man, Captain Peter Townsend, says Vanity Fair. For years, Princess Margaret jumped through hoops to be with her then-divorced lover, but it was not meant to be, unless she wanted to pack up and leave town like Uncle David.


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Anne de Courcy wrote about the Princess Margaret/Peter Townsend romance in the biography of Princess Margaret's eventual husband, Lord Snowdon.

"When Townsend accompanied the royal family on a tour of South Africa in 1947, the two were in each other's company every day. 'We rode together every morning in that wonderful country, in marvelous weather,' the Princess told a confidante. 'That's when I really fell in love with him.'"

After Queen Elizabeth took the throne, Princess Margaret moved to Clarence House with her mother, but had her own apartment there, so it was easier to hide her affair with Townsend than it was in the palace.

Queen Elizabeth really tried to find a way that the beloved Townsend and her sister could marry, and at first sent Townsend to work in Belgium to buy some time.

"Princess Margaret told her sister, the Queen, that she wanted to marry the airman. Soon afterward, Elizabeth II began to sound out her ministers on the possibility of amending the Regency Act in such a way as to ease the restrictions on Margaret's marriage."

But the reason that Princess Margaret finally decided not to marry Peter Townsend was that the conditions for her were actually going to be worse than they were for her Uncle David, as Princess Margaret would forfeit her allowance, and could not return to England for at least five years.

Princess Margaret put out a statement that explained that she was ending her relationship with Townsend, after being told of what would happen if she did, and that it was bad enough that her Uncle David chose love over his country, and that it would be shameful if she did too.

"I would like it to be known that I have decided not to marry Group Capt. Peter Townsend. 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."

Do you think there was a double standard that would have punished Princess Margaret more than King Edward VIII for marrying a divorced person?

[Featured Image by West End Salons/AP Images]