Princess Margaret‘s fractured marriage to Antony Armstrong-Jones lasted 18 years before they finally divorced – yet one of Lord Snowdon’s male lovers has shared his surprise that the pair’s relationship even made it that far.
British society interior designer Nicky Haslam, 83, claimed in his memoir Redeeming Features (2010) that he had ‘a very brief romance’ with the late Earl a year before his 1960 wedding to Queen Elizabeth II‘s younger sister.
Nicky appears in ITV‘s new five-part royal docuseries The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor, which airs on Thursday 20 April on ITVX, to discuss society photographer Lord Snowdon and Princess Margaret’s relationship.
In the first episode, titled Love and Duty, Nicky explains: ‘Tony was a terrific seducer, he could seduce that table leg. He was terrific fun, Tony, a devil incarnate but a charmer at everything.
‘He was naughty but wonderful, I mean naughty in the nicest sense,’ says the socialite, before admitting: ‘I was quite surprised that it went that far, as far as marriage [between Antony and Margaret].’
Princess Margaret’s fractured marriage to Antony Armstrong-Jones (pictured together in 1974) lasted 18 years before they finally divorced – yet one of Lord Snowdon’s male lovers has shared his surprise that the pair’s relationship even made it that far
Lady Anne Glenconner, the late Princess Margaret’s lady-in-waiting, also features on the episode – but has less than positive words to say about the royal’s husband.
She says: ‘Once the marriage started to go wrong, I was there for her when she was having a difficult time. I did see the way Tony treated her, which I didn’t like at all.
‘The thing about Tony was, that he was so spiteful – and did these horrible things. he used to leave little notes,’ claims Lady Glenconner.
The socialite, 90, who was a maid of honour at Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, tells the programme how one message to his wife apparently read ‘I hate you’.
‘I don’t know why he behaved like that really, I just felt very sorry for her,’ confesses Lady Glenconner.
She adds that ‘Tony was quite clever… he kept in with The Queen and The Queen Mother. Absolutely. I mean they thought he was wonderful.’
Elsewhere in the programme, Nicky recalls a not-so blissful moment between the Earl and Princess.
‘We were at a party and Tony had one of those matches that would light anywhere, you’d strike them on, old fashion matches, and he was sort of lighting them and throwing them at Princess Margaret,’ explains the socialite.
British society interior designer Nicky Haslam (pictured), 83, claimed in his memoir Redeeming Features (2010) that he had ‘a very brief romance’ with the late Earl a year before his 1960 wedding to Queen Elizabeth II’s younger sister
Nicky appears in ITV’s new five-part royal docuseries The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor, which airs on Thursday 20 April on ITVX, to discuss society photographer Lord Snowdon and Princess Margaret’s relationship (seen in 1966)
‘And she said: “Oh Tony, don’t do that. You could’ve set my dress on fire, and he said “Good thing too, I’ve always hated that material.””
Margaret, who died in 2002 aged 71, met Antony in 1958 at a dinner party organised by mutual friends, and wed at Westminster Abbey in May 1960, the first royal wedding to be televised.
However, the union was not a good one, and the pair soon drifted apart, with both royals entering into extra-marital affairs.
Margaret famously invited Roddy Llewellyn, a lover who was 17 years her junior, to the island of Mustique in 1974, where they were photographed by paparazzi, precipitating the end of her marriage.
Margaret and Antony, who passed away in 2017, made their divorce official in 1978, after 18 years of marriage.
The romance between Anthony Armstrong-Jones and the royal has been romanticised more than once, most recently in the second and third season of Netflix royal drama The Crown.
The full series is available on Thursday 20 April on ITVX