Like Princess Margaret herself, Princess Margaret's wedding was nothing short of ground-breaking. As the first royal wedding to be televised, we owe Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones a debt of gratitude—after all, we might not have gotten to be glued to the TV for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding if it weren't for them. With more than 300 million people watching around the globe on May 6, 1960, the Princess and her fashion photographer fiancé Armstrong-Jones had the world captivated. Here, a look back at Princess Margaret's wedding day.
Any avid watcher of The Crown knows that Princess Margaret's relationship with Armstrong-Jones was kept under wraps for sometime. Off the heels of her long relationship with Captain Peter Townsend, Princess Margaret met Armstrong-Jones at a dinner party. Two years later the couple would announce they were engaged with Margaret showing off a ruby engagement ring designed by her fiancé.
Princess Margaret's Wedding Day
Princess Margaret once again made royal history on her wedding day by having the first ever royal wedding to be televised for the world to watch. On May 6, 1960, the Princess rode from Clarence House to Westminster Abbey in the Glass Coach (as is tradition) with her brother-in-law Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh. Since her father, King George VI, passed away years earlier, Prince Phillip would walk Margaret down the aisle and give her away.
More than 2,000 people gathered to watch the Princess say "I do" with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, performing the ceremony. After officially becoming husband and wife, Armstrong-Jones was bestowed with the title of Lord Snowdon.
Like Kate and William after them, Princess Margaret and her new husband appeared on the balcony at Buckingham Palace with other members of the Royal Family immediately after the ceremony. And much like other royal weddings, the group quickly gathered for a wedding breakfast at the palace with 120 guests.
Princess Margaret's Wedding Dress
Referred to as "the simplest royal wedding gown in history" by Life at the time, Princess Margaret's wedding dress may have seemed simple, but it has stood the test of time and set trends for years to come (yes, we're talking about Meghan Markle's exquisite Givenchy boat neck gown).
Created by Norman Hartnell, who designed Queen Elizabeth's wedding gown 13 years earlier, the silk organza gown was rumored to have been fitted to showcase Princess Margaret's figure—hence the lack of embellishment. Featuring long sleeves, a v-neckline (a bit suggestive for the time), fitted waist and a skirt so full that it reportedly required 30 meters fo fabric. Princess Margaret's wedding dress is on display at Kensington Palace as part of an exhibit on royal wedding dresses.
Princess Margaret's Wedding Tiara
The stunning Poltimore tiara, created in 1870 by Garrard for Lady Poltimore, was purchased by Margaret herself—rather unconventional for a Princess at the time. Margaret reportedly bought the tiara ahead of her engagement announcement and even wore it out a few times before the wedding.
Princess Margaret's Wedding Bouquet
Designed by Constance Spry, the royal wedding bouquet featured orchids and was, like other royal bouquets, left at Westminster Abbey. The bouquet was said to be similar to Queen Elizabeth's 1947 flowers, but only smaller.
Princess Margaret's Wedding Cake
As part of her reportedly £26,000 wedding, Margaret certainly splurged on the cakes. Yes, cakeS. For their wedding cake, the newlyweds commissioned J. Lyons and Co. to create a three-tiered extravaganza coming at five-feet tall and composed of 20 cakes in total. Featuring the princess's coat of arms and the couple's new monogram, the English rose and the Scottish Lion, the cake was topped with a flowing floral piece.
Following the grand wedding, the newlyweds embarked for a six week jaunt in the Caribbean. Yes, that's right, a six-week honeymoon. The couple set aboard the British yacht the Brittania for their post-wedding escape.
Sadly, the honeymoon didn't last. Margaret and Lord Snowdon divorced in 1978, the first royal divorce in more than 200 years.