Princess Margaret gave up love for the Crown on this day, 65 years ago.
Queen Elizabeth’s sister announced on October 31, 1955, that her engagement to Captain Peter Townsend was no more.
In a statement read on BBC radio, Margaret said: “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 teaching that Christian marriage is indissoluble, and conscious of my duty to the Commonwealth, I have resolved to put these considerations before any others.”
While Townsend had divorced his wife in 1952, the Church of England’s then-strict rules about remarriage after divorce forced Margaret’s hand. Under the Royal Marriages Act of 1772, the Princess required the Queen’s permission to marry before the age of 25. Although she…