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Saturday, 9 February, 2002, 10:32 GMT
Princess Margaret's Welsh love affair
The opening of the new home of BBC Wales in Cardiff
Crowds cheered as Margaret opened BBC Wales in Cardiff in 1967
Princess Margaret's connections to Wales were sealed in 1960 when she married the son of an eminent Welsh barrister in the grandeur of Westminister Abbey.

Antony Armstrong-Jones was a fashionable photographer and a commoner.

Antony Armstrong-Jones and Princess Margaret
The wedding was more like a hollywood film

The relationship was more like a script from a Hollywood film than royal wedding and it seemed a happy ending after the princess had given up her first love - the divorced Peter Townsend, in the name of duty.

Her new husband was given a title Earl Snowdon in recognition of his roots in north Wales.

He had been a regular visitor to the family seat Plas Dinas in Bontnewydd near Caernarfon and the match was greeted with great excitement.

During the 60s, Princess Margaret forged further links with Wales and became a frequent visitor.

Townsend with Margaret and the Queen mother
Townsend: Part of the royal household

She was a guest at major events like the Eisteddfod and the Royal Welsh Show.

The royal flight took the couple to engagements across the country.

The princess shared in the grief of the nation following the Aberfan disaster in 1966.

She visited the graves of children who perished after a coal waste tip swept over a school and houses, killing 116 children and 28 adults.

In 1967 the princess opened the new home of BBC Wales in Cardiff with its on site concert hall, one still used.

But her longest stay in Wales came with the investiture Lord Snowdon orchestrated this occasion, and the family came too.

Roddy Llewellyn
The princess fell in love with Roddy Llewellyn

The glamorous image was tempered by royal commitment to good works.

The princess forged strong links with the Welsh cancer charity Tenovus, her support continued until her death.

In the early 70s Princess Margaret and her husband were in north Wales again.

This time at a slate mine, in public they were united, but in private the marriage was disintegrating.

By 1976 they were living separate lives and another Welshman was now central to her life.

She had fallen in love with Roddy Llewellyn, the son of Sir Harry Llewellyn the Olympic horseman who lived near Abergavenny.

The two of them holidayed in the Carribean and this time the newspapers published stories of their love affair.

After her divorce there was feverish speculation she would marry Llewellyn, he eventually released a statement saying it was out of the question.

The princess however continued to be a regular visitor to Wales.

As ill health dogged her last years her engagements became less frequent, but her patronage of her favourite charities remained until the end.


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Princess Margaret 1930-2002
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09 Feb 02 | UK
09 Feb 02 | UK
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