October 29, 1955
Queen Elizabeth II is in Scotland this week to "smooth the way" for Princess Margaret's wedding to Group Captain Peter Townsend, reports the Los Angeles Times. A wedding in the Presbyterian church is possible unless the Church of England's "opposition becomes so strong" that Margaret and Townsend will have to wed abroad.
The "sudden, mysterious trip" to Scotland shows that the Queen might "drop the word very unofficially" that she would not object to Margaret's wedding taking place in the Church of Scotland, perhaps at Glamis Castle, where Margaret was born.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has apparently made it final that he will not allow Margaret to marry in the Church of England as Townsend is a divorced man whose former spouse is still alive.
The Church of Scotland does permit the innocent party in a divorce to remarry.
But the Church of England has "brought pressure" on the Church of Scotland, warning that "relations between the two will be imperiled" if the Scots church allows the marriage to take place.
Although the queen may be "unofficially sympathetic," she cannot be seen as giving her approval to the marriage. The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are staying at Drumkilbo, the home of the Master of Elphinstone. Only two weeks ago, the royal couple returned to London after spending their summer vacation in Scotland.
The Queen "intends to let it be known at a discreet meeting" that a Church of Scotland wedding at Glamis is the "best solution. The Master of Elphinstone the brother of Mrs. John Lycett Willis, who hosted Princess Margaret's 'first week-end tryst" with Townsend two weeks ago.
Princess Margaret and Group Captain Townsend are spending this weekend at Uckfield. the 400-acre country estate belonging to Lord Rupert and Lady Camilla Nevill. They were seen earlier today "strolling hand in hand across a frost-covered meadow."
Former Prime Minister Winston Churchill is said to be a "secret ally" of the Princess. Earlier this week, his son-in-law, Christopher Soames, met with Townsend. "Informed sources" said Soames advised Townsend on "how to arrange the marriage," rather than try to dissuade him.
It has also been learned that members of the Royal Family are avoiding trying to "influence" Margaret's decision.
Princess Margaret has not yet asked her sister, the Queen, for permission to marry.