Thursday, June 07, 2012

Her Majesty's "almost" Grandchildren: The grandchildren of the late Princess Margaret

Far left behind the Cap of Maintenance is Charles Armstrong-Jones. The Page of Honour closest to the Queen is Arthur Chatto. Both boys are grandsons of the Queen's late sister, H.R.H. the Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. source

The Queen and her only sister, the late Princess Margaret, were very close. The Queen often had Maragret's two children, David (Viscount Linley) and Lady Sarah Chatto (nee Armstrong-Jones) to stay when they were children. Lord Linley briefly shared a governess with Prince Andrew as a child and Lady Sarah (one of four royal babies born in 1964) shared the Palace schoolroom with Prince Edward. Both remain very close to the Queen and to Prince Charles.

Viscount Linley is a successful businessman with his own line of "bespoke" (i.e. custom) furniture and household goods. He is reported to have created an altar for the restored, fire-ravaged chapel at Windsor Castle and has a client list that reads like an international "Who's Who." He recently said he never was any good at school at anything "academic or athletic" so a school teacher guided him to carpentry! His elder child, Charles Patrick Inigo Armstrong-Jones, was named for Prince Charles. Earlier this year the Queen made Charles a Page of Honour--one of the boys who carry her train on state occasions. This is a very personal honor and the list of Pages of Honour includes the likes of the late Princess Diana's younger brother Charles (also named for Prince Charles and a Godson of the Queen) and many other aristocrats.

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Charles's sister, the Hon. Margarita Elizabeth Rose Allyene Armstrong-Jones ("Hon." means "the Honorable" and is a courtesy title given to the daughters of a Viscount) was a bridesmaid in last year's Royal Wedding of William and Kate. Her birthday is May 14, 2002. She has also been spotted modeling in a children's fashion show covered by the society magazine the Tatler.

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Lady Sarah Chatto (whose husband once played Prince Andrew in a made-for-tv movie about Prince Charles and Lady Diana) is an artist and  has two sons. Samuel David Benedict Chatto, born July 28, 1996, is said to be at Eton. His younger brother, Arthur Robert Nathaniel was born February 9, 1999, and is a day pupil at Westminster Cathedral Choir School.

These four children are regularly seen trooping to Christmas Church Services, leaving Easter Church services and enjoying the view from the Buckingham Palace balcony for the annual post-Trooping the Colour fly-past by the RAF. In fact, they are more frequently in the public eye than their cousins the Wessex children! While their Great Aunt is Queen they are not "royal." Charles and Margarita are aristocrats in that their grandfather is famed photographer Lord Snowdon and their father will succeed to that title when his father dies. Charles will, in due course, become  Viscount Linley and eventually Earl of Snowdon. Hopefully that is a very long way off!


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Susan said...

Interesting! I'd never looked into Princess Margaret's kids. Sounds kind of like they got the best "deal" with being royal - getting to hobnob with the big names, while not having too many responsibilities or recognition themselves ...