Queen Elizabeth II is currently the monarch of the United Kingdom. She inherited the throne in 1952 and has been working hard ever since, even now that she is in her 90s.
While Queen Elizabeth’s royal career is well-known, not everyone is aware of what went on during her childhood. For example, does she have any siblings?
Queen Elizabeth grew up with 1 younger sister
Queen Elizabeth grew up with a sister named Margaret, who was 4 years younger than her. The two sisters led privileged lives as royal children for much of their childhood. However, when Elizabeth was 10 and Princess Margaret was 6, their uncle abdicated the throne and their father became king.
This event reportedly changed the sisters’ dynamic as Elizabeth suddenly became the heir to the throne.
Olivia Colman, who plays Her Majesty on the Netflix series The Crown, told Town & Country, “[Elizabeth and Margaret] did everything together as children–they were taught in the same room, slept in the same room, everything. They saw the world from the same windows. Then they just get foisted into these positions that they didn’t really want.”
Margaret herself also commented on this. When they were young, the press often made comparisons between Elizabeth and Margaret, painting the latter as a problem child.
“When my sister and I were growing up, she was made out to be the goody-goody one. That was boring so the press tried to make out that I was wicked as hell,” she said in a 1970 interview.
Queen Elizabeth disapproved of whom Princess Margaret initially wanted to marry
Tension also arose between the sisters when, in her early 20s, Margaret wanted to marry a man named Peter Townsend who worked for the royal family. He was divorced and 15 years her senior, so Queen Elizabeth did not approve of the relationship.
Margaret eventually agreed to break off relations with Townsend. She later married another man, Antony Armstrong-Jones, in 1960. They have two children: David (born 1961) and Sarah (born 1964).
Unfortunately, this marriage was not a blissful one. As The Independent reported, they seemed to have different purposes in life: Snowdon wanted to focus a lot of time on his work, while Margaret ran the household. Rumors of affairs also popped up often in the press. Margaret and Armstrong-Jones finally divorced in 1978.
Princess Margaret passed away in 2002
While Queen Elizabeth is currently 93 and a symbol of good health, Margaret’s life was a different story.
Margaret was plagued with health problems in the last few decades of her life. As a smoker, she had a section of her left lung removed in 1985. She was hospitalized in 1993 for pneumonia. Then, in 1998, she had a mild stroke. In 1999, she had an accident in a bathroom that left severe scalds on her feet, which limited her mobility.
Finally, in 2002, Margaret had a stroke that eventually took her life. She was 71 years old.