Princess Margaret Wedding Tiara

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Peter Townsend was appointed Comptroller of her mother's restructured household. By 1953, he was divorced from his first wife and proposed marriage to Margaret. He was 16 years her senior and had two children from his previous marriage. Margaret accepted and informed her sister, the Queen, of her desire to marry Townsend. The Queen's consent was required by the Royal Marriages Act 1772. As in 1936, the Church of England refused to countenance the remarriage of the divorced. Queen Mary had recently died, and Elizabeth was about to be crowned. After her coronation, she planned to tour the Commonwealth for six months. The Queen told Margaret, "Under the circumstances, it isn't unreasonable for me to ask you to wait a year. " The Queen was counselled by her private secretary to post Townsend abroad, but she refused and instead transferred him from the Queen Mother's household to her own. The British Cabinet refused to approve the marriage, and newspapers reported that the marriage was "unthinkable" and "would fly in the face of Royal and Christian tradition". Churchill informed the Queen that the Dominion prime ministers were unanimously against the marriage and that Parliament would not approve a marriage that would be unrecognized by the Church of England unless Margaret renounced her rights to the throne.