The Queen and her beloved sister Princess Margaret may not always have seen eye to eye, but the duo was always close, and The Reality of Monarchy author Andrew Duncan has shed new insight into just how special their bond was. In a new piece for Radio Times, the writer, who interviewed Margaret in the 1960s, revealed some of the loveliest things that the princess said about her sibling. "My sister has an aura," said the late Countess of Snowdon. "I'm enormously impressed when she walks into a room. It's a kind of magic."
And while Princess Margaret was clearly in awe of her older sister, the world's longest-reigning monarch, she also felt protective of her. "In my own humble way I've always tried to take some of the burden off my sister," the then-39-year-old admitted to Andrew. "She can't do it all ... and I leap at the opportunity to help. Sometimes it can be very formal and boring, but I've got a reflex against that now. It's very much up to one not to be bored."
King George VI and Queen Elizabeth's once-rebellious daughter also shared how she'd mellowed over time. “My friends used to tease me and call it my ‘acid-drop’ expression … I’m much nicer in old age,” Margaret said of becoming less tough on other people. By this point she recognized that the monarchy's future relied on "nicely brought up young people" who could maintain favour for the reigning group.
The mother of two was known for being quite free-spirited in her youth, during which she was a staple at galas and nightclubs amid members of the aristocracy. Ever a glamorous beauty, Margaret's love life was of great interest to the public, and one of her greatest points of contention with her sister was her romance with her father's former equerry, Captain Peter Townsend. As seen in the popular Netflix series The Crown, which revived the world's interest in the Queen's younger sister, Her Majesty was unable to approve of Margaret marrying her love as he was divorced. She went on to marry photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones, with whom she had her two children.
A heavy smoker and drinker for most of her life, the princess's health declined in the 1990s, and following several strokes that ultimately left her bedridden, she passed away at age 71 on Feb. 9, 2002 - the year of her sister's Golden Jubilee.