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London gears up for Princess Margaret’s wedding

The Story

Princess Margaret, Queen Elizabeth's only sibling, is marrying photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones on May 6, 1960. And with the wedding only five days away, preparations are in full swing. Huge grandstands are being erected to accommodate thousands of spectators, while countless flags, banners and portraits of the royal couple are being hung through the streets of London. In this 1960 CBC-TV report, we see how London is getting ready for the big event, and watch as the camera traces the route the princess will take to Westminster Abbey on her wedding day.

Medium: Television
Program: Newsmagazine
Broadcast Date: May 1, 1960
Reporter: Don Gordon
Duration: 11:19

Did You know?

• Princess Margaret's wedding was the first ever televised British royal wedding.

• Armstrong-Jones was not Princess Margaret's first choice for a husband. She had fallen in love with Peter Townsend, an air force captain, during the early 1950s and the two had hoped to marry. But because Townsend was divorced, the Church of England would not recognize a marriage between the couple. Prime Minister Churchill and Parliament said Margaret would have to renounce her right to succession of the British throne if she wanted to marry Townsend, so she chose to end their engagement in October 1955.

• Princess Margaret and Armstrong-Jones had two children: David, born in 1961, and Sarah, born in 1964.

• Since Armstrong-Jones had no title, he was created Earl of Snowdon and Viscount Linley of Nymans in October 1961 -- a month before their first child was born -- because there were concerns surrounding the idea of a British princess giving birth to a child without a title. When their son David was born in November 1961, he was therefore born into the title Viscount Linley.

• The couple divorced in 1978, making Margaret the first in Britain's immediate Royal Family to divorce since Henry VIII in the 16th century.

• After years of failing health, Princess Margaret passed away in 2002 at the age of 71.



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