Queen Elizabeth II‘s only sibling, Princess Margaret, lived in her sister’s shadow for much of her life. Because of that so many details about the Countess of Snowdon and what she talked about with others were never printed or repeated until after her death.
This includes a nightmare Margaret told a novelist she used to always have that involved her older sister.
Was Princess Margaret close to Queen Elizabeth II?
Queen Elizabeth and Princess Margaret’s relationship has been analyzed by royal writers and experts for years.
History Extra noted that Marion Crawford worked as a governess for the royal family and gave a glimpse of what Margaret and Elizabeth were like as children. Crawford wrote in an unauthorized biography that the sisters were “two entirely normal and healthy” little girls but like a lot of siblings fought a bit when they were kids. “Neither was above taking a whack at her adversary if roused,” Crawford revealed. “Lilibet [Elizabeth] was quick with her left hook. Margaret was more of a close-in fighter, known to bite on occasions.”
Despite their little bouts, the pair maintained a tight bond into adulthood, and these days the queen is very close with her late sister’s daughter, Sarah Armstrong Jones.
“Not many people know this, one of the queen’s favorite people in the royal family is Margaret’s daughter,” commentator Angela Mollard said via the Royals podcast. “They’ve always had an incredibly close relationship. I think that’s a lovely thing, both for Sarah and for the queen to have this relationship with her sister’s daughter.”
The Countess of Snowdon had nightmares about this
In author Craig Brown’s book Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret, he noted that Margaret once told a novelist about an unpleasant dream she used to have in which she disappointed and upset Elizabeth once she became the monarch.
According to Brown, Margaret had trouble sleeping and was asked if she ever dreamed about the queen. She responded that she did and the novelist wrote: “[Margaret] dreamed that she was disapproved of. She knew she had done something truly awful, something that transgressed everything she had been taught to believe, something that had made the queen angry.”
When Margaret woke up most mornings she reportedly had to phone her sibling just to make sure everything was all right between them.
Margaret’s real tragedy was being born second
Margaret was no stranger to tragedies during her life, but it’s a common belief that the biggest tragedy for her is that she was born after her sister.
Following her uncle’s abdication, her father became king and upon his death, Elizabeth became the monarch. For Margaret, she had minimal responsibilities and not much of anything to do to occupy her time. She also watched her royal status (place in the line of succession) fall with every child her sister gave birth to.
Andrew Duncan, the author of The Reality of Monarchy, said Margaret undoubtedly loved the queen but also had to deal with the fact that she would only ever be “second.” One of her confidantes quoted the countess as saying, “I guess I’ll be second best to my grave.”
Princess Margaret died following a massive stroke on Feb. 9, 2002. She was 71.