Princess Margaret: Friend discusses Lord Snowdon marriage

Princess Margaret was the sister of Queen Elizabeth II. Despite not being able to marry the first man she intended to, Peter Townsend due to his divorced status, Margaret went on to marry Antony Armstrong-Jones.

He was a British photographer and filmmaker and the couple tied the knot in Westminster Abbey.

The wedding was broadcast on television and it attracted more than 300 million people worldwide.

Princess Marget wore a beautiful dress by Normal Hartnell, a British fashion designer who regularly dressed Margaret and the Queen before his death in 1979.

The couple had two children together during their 18 year marriage, David in 1961, and Sarah in 1964.

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Princess Margaret died at the age of 71 years on February 9, 2002 following ill health. 

Her engagement ring was absolutely stunning and designed by Antony himself. 

It was designed to look like a rose in a sweet tribute to Margaret’s middle name, Rose. 

The ring of diamonds around the central rock were designed to look like flower petals.

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Speaking to, one expert shared an insight into the engagement ring.

The Vintage Ring Company explained: “What makes this vintage style of halo different to contemporary designs is the size of the diamonds. 

“Similar in proportion to flower petals, these old-cut stones are much larger than those commonly chosen for halos by jewellers today. 

“The colour of the ruby in Margaret’s engagement ring is a sumptuous pink-red, a subtle but incredibly romantic nod to her middle name, Rose. 

“This hue is further enhanced by the yellow gold of the ring’s settings and band; a timeless colour marriage that oozes vintage charm. 

“Though gorgeous, a ruby with a lighter tone carries a considerably smaller price tag than one in an intense shade of red.”

It was claimed at the time to have cost £250 in 1960 and is said to still have a relatively low price tag today.

The expert added: “Today, I’d value a ring like this one just below the £8,000 mark, but it’s tricky to be certain without an idea of the quality of that central stone and the exact size of the halo diamonds.”

Another expert told that this style of ring is still very popular to this day. 

Arseniy Budrevich from Budrevich Fine Jewellery Studio, said: “The overall shape reminds me of the coronet cluster ring design, which was especially popular in the 50-60s and is still popular to this day. 

“The central stone looks like an oval cut ruby between 1.40-1.80 ct. surrounded with 1.50 carat of diamonds, presumably set in platinum on a yellow gold band.

“It is hard to estimate the price of the ring with few sharp and detailed colour images available, but for information the highest grade Burmese ruby with no heat treatment of this carat size could cost up to £15,000 per carat, the gold, platinum and melee diamonds would only cost around £2,000 – £2,500 max.”

However due to the rich history attached to it, if it went to auction today, the expert reckons it would fetch much higher.

Arseniy added: “Naturally adding on sentimental value and the fact it belonged to Princess Margaret ensures the price would be much higher.”

Margaret was known for not being able to marry the first man she had intended to.

Peter Townsend and the Princess met when she was first a teenager.

He was equerry to Margaret’s father, King George VI, until his death in 1952.

Peter married his first wife, Rosemary Pawle in 1941 but later divorced.

Since divorcees weren’t allowed to remarry in the Church of England, it was thought not to be a good match, although the couple could have waited until Margaret was 25 years old to marry Peter.

During this time she was told any children she had with Peter would be removed from the line of succession.

Margaret issued a statement confirming that she had broken off the engagement. The statement read: “I would like it to be known that I have decided not to marry Group Captain Peter Townsend. I have been aware that, subject to my renouncing my rights of succession, it might have been possible for me to contract a civil marriage. But mindful of the Church’s teachings that Christian marriage is indissoluble and conscious of my duty to the Commonwealth, I have resolved to put these considerations before others.

“I have reached this decision entirely alone, and in doing so I have been strengthened by the unfailing support and devotion of Group Captain Townsend.”

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