Monday, October 19, 2009

Margaret dines with Archbishop

October 19, 1955

Princess Margaret and other members of the Royal Family dined tonight with the Archbishop of Canterbury at his residence, Lambeth Palace.
The Archbishop is head of the Church of England, which would oppose the princess' marriage to Group Captain Peter Townsend. The Anglican church frowns on the marriage of divorced persons, if their spouses are still living. Townsend's former wife, Rosemary, has since remarried, and the couple's two sons live with her.
Although the primary reason for the dinner was to celebrate the rededication of the palace chapel, which was destroyed by Nazi incendiary bomb on May 10, 1941, it is understood that the topic the princess' future was also discussed.
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, were also present at the dinner.
Queen Elizabeth II is the temporal head of the Church of England. She and her husband, who is opposed to the marriage, drove from Buckingham Palace to the Archbishop's home. Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother arrived from the Houses of Parliament.
A "heavy rain" fell throughout the evening.
Although the Archbishop has not publicly commented on Princess Margaret's romance, he recently stressed in a speech that "religious and moral considerations, and not personal desires should rule the lives of young people."
Princess Margaret, 25, has been linked to the 40-year-old hero of the Battle of Britain, for several years although the news of their romance was largely not reported in Britain.
The group captain recently returned to London from Brussels, where is he serving as an air attache.

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