Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Princess Margaret plans to marry Townsend

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 October 21, 1955

Princess Margaret is planning to go "forward now with marrying" Group Captain Peter Townsend, a divorced airman with two young sons, according to friends.

The New York Times reports that she will marry Townsend unless she there is strong opposition to her plan.

She is "sounding out"  political and church leaders on the possibility of marrying the Group Captain.

Most of the Royal Family is said to be opposed to the marriage, as are the Archbishop of Canterbury and other church officials.

The church stands by its ban on the remarriage of divorced persons.  Private views of Government and Commonwealth leaders vary, as some favor the marriage and others are "undecided."

The Princess is weighing the situation in conversation with Townsend, but she has not arrived at any decision.  The decision will be "hers alone" to make.

Princess Margaret and Group Captain Townsend joined a small circle of friends for dinner tonight.  The Princess drove alone from Clarence House and arrived at 4 St. Leonard's Terrace shortly before 7 p.m.  Townsend arrived shortly afterwards.

Punch editor Malcolm Muggeridge, writing in the New Statesman,  has described the "growing sensationalism" about Princess Margaret as a "royal soap opera."

He suggested that the Royal Family has developed a "taste for the publicity which, in theory, they find so repugnant."

"The whole show is utterly out of hand," he warned.

Muggeridge added: "The simple fact is that the United States Presidency is a far more dignified institution than the British monarchy."

The Evening Standard offered a rebuttal to Muggeridge's comments:  "Mr. Muggeridge may sneer as much as he likes, but the position of the Throne has never been less open to challenge."

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