MARGARET, PRINCESS

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MARGARET, PRINCESS - Royal Christmas Thanks and Wishes
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MARGARET, PRINCESS - Royal Christmas Thanks and Wishes

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MARGARET, PRINCESS. (1930-2002). British princess known for her tumultuous love life; youngest daughter of King George VI and sister of Queen Elizabeth II. ALS. (“Margaret”). 1p. Small 8vo. Kensington Palace, December 9, 1991. On her royal monogrammed Kensington Palace stationery. To American art critic, lecturer and author ROSAMOND BERNIER (1916-2016).

 

It is tremendously kind of you to have sent me your book on the eminent artists you knew. I shall much enjoy studying it. I hope you are very well and, together with my thanks, I send all good wishes for Christmas and 1992 to you and John from…”

 

Upon the abdication of her uncle, Edward VIII, and the ascension of her father King George VI to the throne in 1936, Margaret, then only six years old, became second in line to the throne. In 1952, her father died and her sister became Queen Elizabeth II. Margaret scandalously fell in love with her father’s equerry, a former Royal Air Force officer, Group Captain Peter Townsend, who was 16 years her senior and married until 1952 when he and his wife divorced. Although Margaret and Townsend desired to marry, the country was still scandalized by Edward VIII’s marriage to an American divorcee and subsequent abdication, and the match was opposed by the Church of England, the Cabinet and – reluctantly – Elizabeth. Eventually, Prime Minister Winston Churchill had Townsend posted in Brussels, where he met and married another woman. In 1960, Margaret married celebrated filmmaker and photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones but their union was an unhappy one and publicly disintegrated over the next 18 years, with charges of infidelity on both sides. Their 1978 divorce was the first divorce in the royal family in 77 years but paved the way for the divorces of her nephews Prince Charles and Prince Andrew and niece Princess Anne. Margaret was a life-long patron of the arts and charities.  

 

Born to a wealthy Philadelphia family, Bernier was the European art correspondent for Vogue and, in 1955, founded the French art journal L’OEIL. She lectured at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, lived in France, Mexico and the U.S. and counted “among her broad circle of close friends and acquaintances Matisse, Picasso, Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Frida Kahlo, David Hockney, and Jerome Robbins, to name only a few,” (“They Just Don’t Write ‘Em Like That Anymore: Rosamond Bernier’s ‘Some of My Lives,’” Pop Matters, Leach). Our letter is in thanks for a copy of Bernier’s 1991 book Matisse, Picasso, Miro – as I Knew Them.

 

Written from the royal residence of Kensington Palace. Folded with a few creases. Boldly signed and in excellent condition.

 

 

Item #20190


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