As first in line to the throne after her father, George VI, she succeeded him at the young age of 24 after his sudden death in 1952. A period of national mourning followed and she was crowned in a lavish ceremony in 1953, with six aristocratic maids of honour accompanying her down the aisle of Westminster Abbey. One of those women was Lady Anne Glenconner, a childhood friend of the Royal Family, who went on to become Margaret’s Lady in Waiting later in life.
Margaret is often perceived as the rebellious royal who had a troubled, or even scandalous, love life. Some believe she was always stuck in the shadow of her dutiful sister, even though they were said to be very close.
Lady Glenconner became Margaret’s confidante as her official aide, and they helped one another through trying marriages and personal trauma.
In her 2019 autobiography, ‘Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown’, Lady Glenconner explained how Margaret struggled even on the first official day of the Queen’s reign.
She explained the joy that was in the air following the service in Westminster, when the newly crowned monarch was going to be photographed with her Maids of Honour: “The Queen was so full of excitement that she started running so we all ran with her.
Princess Margaret and the Queen (Image: Getty)
The Queen was crowned in 1953 (Image: Getty)
“Equally spontaneously, she sat down on a red sofa in the gallery, her dress billowing and settling down around her. We sat with her, and when she kicked up her legs for total joy, we did the same. It was happiest of moments.”
However, she added: “During the Coronation Day, though, I was completely oblivious to Princess Margaret’s feelings of sadness.
“All the while we were having the time of our lives, a private film, commissioned by the Queen, captured Princess Margaret looking forlorn.”
Margaret was not one of