Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Townsend spends 2 hours with Margaret

October 13, 1955

Group Captain Peter Townsend visited Clarence House, where Princess Margaret lives, for two hours this evening, reports the New York Times.

Princess Margaret returned to London by train from Balmoral Castle, where she had been staying on vacation. Her mother, Queen Elizabeth  left her home, Castle Mey, and flew back to London this afternoon and drove immediately to Clarence House to be with her younger daughter.

Townsend's visit has "renewed speculation that an "engagement announcement was under consideration."   This was despite what was "reported on extremely sound authority" that the 25-year-old Princess had not yet reached a "firm decision" on marriage to the air attache.

Townsend is 40 years old, divorced and the father of two young sons.

There has not been an official denial from "responsible" Palace or Government officials that Princess Margaret and Townsend might marry.

Group Captain Townsend drove alone to Clarence House, arriving at 6 p.m.  He emerged at 8:20, got back into his car, and "drove alone" past the crowd of photographers on Pall Mall.

Last night, after he arrived at the air ferry terminal at Lydd Airport in Kent, he told reporters: "My whole future is in the balance. I don't know what is going to happen except that I shall certainly be returning to my post in Brussels.  Whether it will be in three weeks' time or whether my leave will be increased, I not yet know."

He is staying at the apartment of a friend, the Marquess of Abergavenny, at 19 Lowndes Square.

Princess Margaret was accompanied home by her cousin, Princess Alexandra of Kent.  There were crowds of people and photographers "massed behind barriers" outside Euston Station, as the two princesses left the train and entered a waiting Rolls Royce at 9:10 a.m.

Officials say they have no knowledge of Princess Margaret's "personal plans.  But they say that no official announcement will be made until after the opening of Parliament on October 25.

Princess Margaret is now "legally entitled to marry" without the formal consent of the Queen.  If she does decide to marry Townsend, she will "renounce" her right of succession.

This action would require action from Parliament and a consultation with the Commonwealth Nations.

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