You think you know Princess Margaret? Think again. Yes, she was Queen Elizabeth’s rebel sister, and yes, she was a royal wild child, but she was also a devoted mother. Even though her children are not household names the way many of the other royals are, they’re still alive and active. Let’s take a look at them and see how their lives have changed now that their cousin has become King Charles III.
Margaret — unlike her sister, who became Queen Elizabeth II — wasn’t one for immediately settling down and having kids. Before she became a mom, she had been romantically involved with Group Captain Peter Townsend, whom you might remember from The Crown.
But he was divorced and not seen as a suitable husband. So heartbroken Margaret married, well, pretty much the next person who asked: Antony Armstrong-Jones.
Didn’t want to marry
Margaret allegedly once told the politician Jonathan Aitken that she agreed to marry Armstrong-Jones only because Townsend had just announced his own engagement. She reportedly said, “I received a letter from Peter in the morning, and that evening I decided to marry Tony.
I didn't really want to marry at all. Why did I? Because he asked me!”
As you might imagine, the marriage between the princess and Armstrong-Jones wasn’t a happy one. In 2008 it was revealed, after decades of speculation, that Armstrong-Jones had even fathered a love child while still newly married to Margaret! It was one year after that affair, though, that he had a “legitimate” baby with his royal wife: a boy named David..
Fifth in line
David’s full name was in fact Viscount David Linley, 2nd Earl of Snowdon. That’s the kind of title you can expect when your auntie is the Queen of England! He actually was fifth in line to the throne when he was born, although he’s obviously not any more, because Elizabeth’s own children went on to have kids and grandkids..
A few years after David came into the world, Margaret and her husband welcomed another child, Sarah. She was also born with an aristocratic title, hers being “Lady.” Appearance-wise, she looked just like her mother had as a child — but luckily, because she wasn’t so close to the throne, her life would prove to be far less complicated than Margaret’s..
Margaret and Armstrong-Jones remained married as their children grew up, but things were strained to say the least. In 1973 while her children were still young, Margaret embarked on a scandalous affair with Roddy Llewellyn, a man 17 years her junior.
Three years later she officially separated from her husband and by 1978 they were divorced.
Growing up royal
David and Sarah spent the rest of their childhood traveling between their separated parents. But luckily, the divorce didn’t seem to affect them too much as they grew into adults, even though they had been so young when it happened.
Both of them developed a passion for the arts as they got older, something they retained even after both their parents had passed away.
Wood and furniture
David became a very in-demand woodworker and furniture-maker. He’s always been happy to talk to the press about his work and how he had been inspired by all the beautiful art he saw around him growing up.
As a child he spent a lot of time not only in art galleries, but also his father’s photography studio.
Like father, like son
In 2017 David spoke to Vanity Fair magazine about his work. He said, “My father’s rooms, as a child, were a very exciting place to be, not only because of the beautiful models who were coming to be photographed for Vogue or The Sunday Times, but also because of the very avant-garde furniture that he had made.
He made designs for the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969 at Carnarvon Castle. He did this famous dais, where the Queen sat on this very modern, slate, throne-like sort of thing, and all the dignitaries sat on bright-bright-red chairs, which you could then buy.”
So as David went through the education system, he focused on the arts. This included being taught at Bedales School in Hampshire, which was a more bohemian place than royals were generally allowed to attend.
“Bedales was perfect for my sister and me,” David told Vanity Fair. “Very open. Very few rules. No uniforms. Co-educational. And very little of ‘You have to do this like this.’”
David’s mother very much supported his career, as well. He told Vanity Fair, “I remember my mother came to my first shop.
And I went downstairs, and there was my mother sitting on the floor, screwing a screw into the back of a mirror. She was greatly enthusiastic.” And his grandmother, the Queen Mother, was likewise very proud of him.
The Queen Mother
In fact, David credits the Queen Mother for pushing him to excel. He said, “I think she gave all of her grandchildren a work ethic and [a belief in] loyalty to friends.
She came to all my workshops and to all my schools. She came to the shop. She said, ‘I hear that you’ve made a rather good cabinet.’ And that was at age 93. The last time she came she was 98, to see the things.”
That’s not all David has had to say about his famous family. In 2018 he did an interview with the website Alain Elkann Interviews and remembered his late dad, saying, “My father repaired his Aston Martin car and Triumph motorbike himself, so I come from a ‘Let’s see if we can mend it’ attitude and then, ‘Let’s see if we can make something.’ He encouraged me to make toys and we were always making something in the house.”.
David also spilled the beans on his cousin, the man who’s now King of the U.K. He said of Charles, “We have always had a good relationship because of our grandmother, the Queen Mother.
He is very funny, and we have had a lot of laughs together.” And when asked, “How is the royal side of your life?” he answered, “You have to be careful and have the greatest respect for the family you come from.”
Expression of gratitude
And it seemed David did indeed have that respect and a lot of love as well. Regarding his mother, he said, “My mother died of a stroke when I was 40, and to say thank you I raise money for research for the Stroke Association. We set up the Princess Margaret Fund, and it has grown quite big.”.
What about his personal life? Well, David was a married man for a long time. In 1993 he married Serena Alleyne Stanhope, the daughter of a viscount and a descendant of King Charles II.
They had two children together, Charles Patrick Inigo and Margarita Elizabeth Rose Alleyne. Both of them are grown adults now.
Unfortunately though, although David’s marriage to Serena lasted many decades, it eventually came to an end. In February 2020 a royal spokesman told Harper’s Bazaar magazine, “The Earl and Countess of Snowdon have amicably agreed that their marriage has come to an end and that they shall be divorced.
They ask that the press respect their privacy and that of their family.”
What about the life of David’s younger sister? Well, Sarah maintains a more private profile; there’s plenty we don’t even know about her. But we do know that after graduating school she worked as a wardrobe assistant, and it was that work that led to her meeting her husband Daniel Chatto, whose last name she took..
Sarah and Daniel wed in 1994; they had two sons together, Samuel David Benedict and Arthur Robert Nathaniel. Like so many of his family members Samuel went into the arts, becoming a sculptor, while Arthur joined the Royal Marines.
They’re 28th and 29th in line to the British throne by the way, but obviously they have almost no chance of being crowned!
These days Sarah is an award-winning artist who exhibits her work at the Redfern Gallery under the name Sarah Armstrong-Jones. The official gallery website states, “Taking inspiration from the landscape around her, the artist is particularly interested in textures — of the Sussex chalk, rock faces of Dunnet Head, and the granite and peat of Caithness — as well as capturing the atmosphere: rain, mist or sunlight.”.
Sarah and the Queen
Sarah has a paying job and is a non-working royal, but she was reportedly a very favorite family member of the late Elizabeth. According to a palace insider who in 2016 spoke to the Daily Mail newspaper, Sarah was the only guest the late monarch ever invited to her secret forest retreat, Craigowan Lodge in Aberdeenshire..
Happy in each other’s company
At the time the Daily Mail’s anonymous source revealed, “The Queen adores Sarah and seeks out her company as often as possible. She is her absolute favorite younger royal.
They are hugely at ease in each other’s company. Much giggling can be heard when they are together. They share a sense of loyalty, fun, duty, and the ridiculous.”
The newspaper also pointed out that there were similarities, but also differences, between Sarah and her famous mother. The article noted, “While Sarah has inherited her mother’s dark hair, high cheekbones, and full mouth, she seems to have avoided her more troubling character traits.
Margaret was notorious for pulling royal rank (at evening gatherings, no one was permitted to go to bed before her), so Sarah’s utter lack of affectation or pomposity is in stark contrast to her mother.”
Other royal insiders praised Sarah highly in the Daily Mail article. “With no agenda, no particular ambitions or feeling of being slighted, Sarah has been happy to take a back seat in royal position-jostling,” one said.
“She has rarely been heard to utter a criticism of her fellow royals and is totally trustworthy with secrets and gossip.” And reportedly, she was also close to Charles, as you’d expect considering her relationship with Elizabeth.
Sarah was also praised for her appearance in the 2016 TV documentary Elizabeth at 90 – A Family Tribute, which was narrated by Charles. During it, she provided commentary for some footage of her mother and aunt singing as children, saying, “I remember hearing them singing together.
It was very moving. It’s something you don’t forget… It’s very revealing how that closeness started and that never got weaker.”
Love and admiration
At the end of A Family Tribute Sarah delivered a sweet on-camera birthday message to the then-Queen, saying she wanted to “wish her many congratulations for reaching such a wonderful age and just giving her a lot of love and huge admiration that she's given me all my life really. Better put it in my birthday card, hadn’t I?”.
But now, of course, Elizabeth has sadly passed away. Sarah hasn’t spoken to the press about her feelings and perhaps she never will.
But she was at the state funeral along with all the other royals. She made her grief clear to all to see by choosing one particular piece of jewelry to wear.
She wore the Snowdon Floral Brooches, which are clearly of great sentimental value to her and speak of her deep connection to both her mother and her aunt. Sarah had worn the piece at Margaret’s funeral back in 2002; before that, she had worn it at the celebrations marking Queen and Prince Philip’s 50th wedding anniversary..
Now, a whole new era has dawned for the royal family. And since David and Sarah are both friends with their cousin the King, perhaps we can expect to see more from them going forward? Either way, though, they’re clearly happy with their lot in life at the moment and have nothing but respect for their more famous family members, as well as their rebellious late mother..
The other kids
Princess Margaret's children aren't the only ones who have had to navigate an interesting position within the royal family. Britain has now entered a new era — the era of King Charles III.
That puts Charles’ wife, Camilla, in the position of Queen Consort, something that would have been unthinkable decades ago. But where does that leave her children—a very quiet and private daughter, Laura, and a more outspoken son, Tom? Following their father-in-law’s ascent to the throne, all eyes are on what their positions in the royal family look like now.
The Parker Bowles family
Before she married the then-Prince Charles, Camilla was the wife of an army officer called Andrew Parker Bowles; that’s where she got the surname by which she’s still known. He’s the father of Tom and Laura.
But as we all very much know, the marriage between Camilla and Andrew didn’t work out. And neither did the relationship between Charles and his wife at the time, Princess Diana.
Everything that happened between Charles, Diana, Camilla, and Andrew is well-documented. While in his unhappy marriage to the Princess of Wales, Charles had an affair with Camilla, whom he had dated previously, and for whom he’d always carried a torch.
Diana committed adultery too, as did Andrew Parker Bowles, who actually ended up marrying his mistress after divorcing Camilla.
Perhaps everything would have worked out better if Charles had married Camilla in the first place, but allegedly she wasn’t considered a suitable bride for the royal heir. People on the outskirts of the royal family have said that the institution headed by the Queen simply wouldn’t have allowed it, no matter how in love the couple might have been..
But that changed, of course. The heir to the throne finally wed his longtime love in 2005, and gradually Camilla became accepted as part of the royal family, if not quite a replacement for the beloved Diana.
And her two kids, who were almost unheard of before, suddenly found themselves in the seemingly envious position of being Charles’ stepchildren.
Who are Tom and Laura?
Before, Tom and Laura had both led pretty normal lives, although they had also grown up extremely wealthy — as people who moved in royal circles. Let’s look at Laura first.
Not much is known about her, and chances are she likes it that way, but some tidbits have emerged over the years. For a start, there was her wedding.
Who is Laura’s husband?
Believe it or not, Laura married a former Calvin Klein model: Harry Lopes. So, she’s now Laura Lopes rather than Laura Parker-Bowles, which helps keep her even more out of the public eye.
The wedding took place in 2006 — one year after her mother wed Charles. And it was a big society event, attended by at least 500 guests, including Prince William and Prince Harry.
And likewise, Laura scored invites to William and Harry’s weddings, too. Her daughter Eliza — she has three children in all — was even one of William and Kate’s bridesmaids! Eagle-eyed royal watchers might have spotted a little girl being held up by Charles when the family posed on the balcony: that was Eliza..
Laura’s relationship with William
That’s all a far cry from what things were allegedly like when Laura and the princes were kids. According to writer Katie Nicholl and her 2010 book William and Harry, “William and Laura used to have terrible fights over who was to blame for their broken homes.
William would blame Camilla for all the hurt she had caused his mother, which would send Laura into a rage.”
“Your father has ruined my life”
Nicholl went on, “Laura was not having any of it. She would take a hard line and fire back at William, ‘Your father has ruined my life.’” And worse, “When Charles telephoned Camilla at the family home in Wiltshire, Laura would pick up an extension and shout down the receiver, ‘Why don’t you stop calling mummy and leave our family alone?’”.
Forgiving and forgetting
According to Nicholl, the young Laura “couldn’t care less that it was the Prince of Wales; she blamed him for breaking up her parents’ marriage and was not afraid to tell William so.” But it seems her perspective shifted as she grew into adulthood. She attended the 2005 wedding of her mother and Charles and posed for a photograph with her new stepbrothers and her older brother Tom..
Meet Tom Parker Bowles
Which brings us on to Tom! If you’re a foodie, perhaps you’ve heard of him independently of his connection to the royal family. He’s a food critic — and a very successful one at that.
He’s not only authored books about food, he’s also popped up on food-related reality shows and contests. So maybe you’ve spotted him channel-surfing at some point.
Tom’s had a bit of a difficult past. He remembered to The Daily Telegraph newspaper in 2017 that when he was a youngster “I was naughty, partied a bit hard.
When I was younger I got sacked all the time. But I loved eating and could just about string a sentence together, so I thought I could write about food.” And he could.
What Tom called Charles
In that same interview it was indicated he perhaps wasn’t all that close to Charles, despite the fact that the King is actually his godfather as well as his stepfather. When asked what he called Charles before he ascended the throne he responded with “’Sir.’ Like, that’s his name.” William and Harry, on the other hand, were “both every bit as lovely and proper as you’d expect.”.
Tom’s current life
Still, Tom did also concede in the 2017 interview, “If my stepfather’s around, he’ll come out for dinner. I realize it’s not entirely normal, but I’m 42, I have two children, I have a career.
Still, it’s nice to know that if I haven’t spoken to my mum for two days, I can turn on the telly and see where she is.”
Throughout his career Tom has seemed happy to answer questions about his mother, stepfather and the whole royal system. In 2021 he told The Times newspaper, “I honestly don’t know if Mum will be called queen.
That hasn’t been decided. There are lots of interesting Sky documentaries about that I’m sure, but I honestly don’t know if that’s true.”
That was a fair thing to consider, because Camilla’s title had always seemingly been tied to her popularity. And once upon a time, Camilla was hated so much that people allegedly hurled food at her in her local supermarket.
During those days no-one thought in a million years that she would ever get to be Queen Consort.
The Palace’s intentions
Even though Camilla’s reputation improved a lot as the years went by without scandal, representatives of the royal family publicly said she would never be Queen Consort. As late in the game as 2020 the Palace’s PR people told The Times, “The intention is for the duchess to be known as Princess Consort when the prince accedes to the throne.”.
But things changed. In February 2022 Elizabeth released a statement saying, “When, in the fullness of time, my son Charles becomes King, I know you will give him and his wife Camilla the same support that you have given me.
And it is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service.”
Elizabeth’s changing mind
Camilla had gone from mistress to Queen Consort — very impressive. According to one insider who spoke to Us Weekly magazine, “Elizabeth was skeptical about Camilla when she married Charles and the circumstances were certainly challenging, but through her dedication and loyalty to The Firm, she has more than proved to her that she has what it takes.”.
Perhaps surprisingly, considering the whole “pelted with food” story, there was pretty much no outcry about the Queen’s big announcement. But there were plenty of rumors about how the change impacted the royals.
Titles are a huge, huge deal in the royal family — just look at what happened when Harry and Meghan Markle’s children weren’t given any.
Writer Christopher Anderson told Us Weekly magazine that the Queen Consort Camilla announcement had “driven a wedge” in the family and that William and Harry had been “completely blindsided.” But yet other, older interviews had indicated that the princes never remotely held a grudge against Camilla once they had become old enough to understand what had gone on between her and Charles..
The most important thing
Harry talked about his stepmother in an interview to mark his 21st birthday in 2005 and was very complimentary indeed. He said Camilla was “a wonderful woman and she’s made our father very, very happy, which is the most important thing.” And he went on, “To be honest with you, she’s always been very close to me and William...
she’s not the wicked stepmother, I’ll say that right now.”
Harry’s big interviews
There’s a possibility, of course, that things had simply changed between 2005 and 2022 — especially since Harry had left the royal family amid a storm of controversy two years before the Queen passed away. But he’s done plenty of no-holds-barred interviews since stepping down, and he’s never once indicated any resentment at his stepmother or step-siblings during them..
What do we call Camilla’s children?
But also it doesn’t actually matter who likes the situation or not — Camilla is Queen Consort. But what titles and privileges do her children get now? The answer may surprise you: they don’t get any at all.
That’s because, as grand and important as the title is, it doesn’t actually come with that much royal power. There’s not much Camilla can do as an individual; she’s very much secondary to Charles.
Speculation runs rife
There was, though, a little speculation after the Queen Consort announcement that Camilla’s kids actually would get titles. In March, royal expert Brain Hoey spoke to the Daily Express newspaper and said, “I think what will be interesting, when Camilla becomes Queen, is what [will] happen with her children.
We have never, ever had children of a King or Queen who remained untitled.”
He went on, “I think they are bound to get some sort of a title. Charles, even though he said he wants to be a modernizer, he is also a traditionalist, very much a realist.
He quite likes ceremonial and he believes in the honor system in Britain and I think he will do whatever he feels it’s the correct formal thing to do at the time.”
The passing of the Queen
But it didn’t happen like that. The Queen passed away in September 2022 and it marked the biggest change in the royal family in ages.
The King had his mother’s funeral and his own future coronation on his mind as the eyes of the entire world watched him. Understandably, his stepchildrens’ potential titles were low down on any to-do list he might have had.
Not blood relations
In the weeks after Elizabeth’s death Hello! magazine’s royal correspondent Danielle Stacey wrote, “Charles’ stepchildren, Tom and Laura, will not receive royal titles as they are only related to the sovereign through his marriage to their mother, Camilla, and are not blood relations. And since it has widely been reported that Charles is in favor of a slimmed-down monarchy, he’s unlikely to bestow any other titles on his stepchildren.”.
And it seems Tom might have always known this. In 2019 during an interview with the TV show Good Morning Britain, he described himself and his sister as “not quite part of the royal family to be honest.” He went on, “My mother married into it.
She’s part of it. We’re the common children. We’re just on the side.”
But are they really that “common”? Now that Camilla is Queen Consort, they might find themselves being treated more like royalty than like private citizens with normal jobs and lives. Unfortunately, as many generations of royals will tell you, being treated like royalty doesn’t just mean getting perks.
It also means no privacy and constant press intrusion.
Tom knows all about that aspect of things, and he’s always hated it. In 2015 he did an interview with Tracey Grimshaw of 9 News Australia remembering his childhood.
He said, “We thought it was entirely normal growing up to have five or six paparazzi hanging round. We used to have a house in Wiltshire; there’d be fields but there was a public footpath that the paparazzi knew they could go on.”
He went on, “We’d get a pair of binoculars and say, ‘Look mummy, there’s five today’. It was entirely normal to be chased at high speed by these people on motorbikes or cars.
They’re bullies, half these people… when you’re coming out of an airport and they’re really winding you up, all I wanted to do is smack them in the face and beat the Hell out of them.”
Do Tom and Laura get security?
Which leads to another question: are Tom and Laura entitled to security guards, like the royals have? Apparently the answer is another no. Majesty magazine editor Joe Little told website Page Six after the Queen’s death, “If they haven’t needed security up until now, they won’t get it when the reign changes — unless it’s needed.
But as a matter of course, they will not get security.”
Little went on, “Tom and Laura will attend their mother’s coronation, and inevitably there will be media scrutiny returning to them at that point. They must be aware of it, Camilla will be aware of it.
A lot of things will now change, and one of the downsides is that the newspapers will take more of an interest in them.”
What not to do
But Tom’s always said he had to learn about the newspapers the hard way. He revealed in his 2015 interview, “There was no need to be coached [about the press] for me or my sister, because we are not part of the royal family, because we’re commoners, straight out commoners.” All he knew was “not to embarrass my mother by running down the street naked or shouting down with the Queen.”.
Neither Tom nor Laura has done that, luckily, and in the months following the Queen’s passing they simply kept a low profile and supported their mother. They didn’t even make any public statements about how their stepfather had become the new King.
Although Tom has a Twitter account with over 38K followers, he didn’t speak about the Queen’s death once.
And though both of them attended the Queen’s funeral, they kept quiet about that too. They simply joined the royal family at Westminster Abbey and paid their respects while the news cameras clicked.
It’s not known if either of them had actually met the Queen, but there was no denying how important she had been to the lives of their mother and stepfather.
Their own people
That whole sense of discretion has won Tom and Laura praise in the press. Not long before the Queen’s funeral took place, royal expert Thomas Mace-Archer-Mills told the Daily Express, “Camilla’s children haven’t actually built any trade-off from their relationship with the Crown.
They have always been their own people, despite who their mother was dating and eventually married.”
Under the radar
Mace-Archer-Mills went on, “[Tom and Laura] have not used that royal connection as a tool to better themselves and this is why they’ve been able to fly under the radar to have very private lives. Because they have not capitalized on any sort of royal status, they have been able to enjoy that individuality.” Let’s hope they can continue to enjoy it..