Heritage

Lord Snowdon, Princess Margaret's Former Husband, Has Died

Theirs was the first royal divorce since 1540.
IMAGE Getty
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Antony Charles Robert Armstrong-Jones, the first Earl of Snowdon and former husband of Princess Margaret, died on Friday, January 13. He was 86 years old.

Photo agency Camera Press confirmed his passing with a short statement, "The Earl of Snowdon died peacefully at home on 13th January 2017."

Buckingham Palace acknowledged that the Queen received news of her former brother-in-law's death, but they did not comment further.

Lord Snowdon was one of the UK's most famous photographers. A polio survivor, he overcame a disability to achieve a storied career with works appearing in publications such as The Sunday Times, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and The Telegraph. Harper's Bazaar UK reports that more than 100 of his works hand in Britain's National Portrait Gallery. In fact, he met Princess Margaret while shooting portraits of the royal family in the 1950s.

Following a short engagement, they married on May 6, 1960 at Westminster Abbey, to much public support. The people of the UK were glad to see Margaret find love following her failed relationship with Peter Townsend.

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Over the course of their marriage, the couple had two children, David Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, but Princess Margaret and Lord Snowdon had a tempestuous relationship, which ended in divorce in 1978, an event that caused quite the scandal. According to the BBC, "Snowdon's womanizing was part of the reason for the break-up." It was the first royal divorce since King Henry VIII's in 1540.

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Margaret never remarried, but Lord Snowdon went on to marry Lucy Mary Lindsay-Hogg later that same year. The couple had one child, Lady Frances Armstrong-Jones.

While married to Lindsay-Hogg, Snowdon reportedly had several affairs, and at age 68 fathered a son named Jasper with journalist Melanie Cable-Alexander.

He is also survived by Polly Fry, a daughter he fathered before his marriage to Princess Margaret.

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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