Lord Snowdon has opened up about his decision to sell his late mother Princess Margaret's tiara, which she wore to her wedding in 1960. The furniture maker admitted he found it difficult to let go, but that he and his sister Lady Sarah Chatto had a £3m inheritance tax bill to settle after their mum passed away. Margaret's exquisite headpiece sold for £900,000 in an auction.
"There were many, many reasons, mostly financial, that persuaded us that that was the correct route because, you know, when people die, taxes need to be paid," Lord Snowdon told The Telegraph. His decision to sell some of his mother's most prized possessions was met with controversy. "Getting rid of anything is not my natural habitat," he added. "I have a lot of clutter. I remember at the time there was a lot of worry as to whether anyone would come."
Margaret's wedding tiara sold for £900,000 in an auction
David made headlines earlier this year when it was reported that he was writing a biography about his late mother. But according to the Daily Mail, Lord Snowdon clarified: "I am not writing a book." He told friends in February: "While there has been a flurry of books about my mother, none of which have really caught her essence, I can tell you that reports of my putting pen to paper are somewhat exaggerated as I will not be writing her biography."
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David, 57, had reportedly been planning to write a memoir to save his mother's tarnished reputation. Margaret, who passed away aged 71, has been portrayed in countless books and TV series, including in The Crown. In the Netflix period drama, the Queen's younger sister, played by Vanessa Kirby, was depicted as a party girl and chain-smoking diva, whose relationships with various men including her husband Antony Armstrong-Jones failed.
Margaret and Antony were married from 1960 to 1978
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Margaret and Antony were married from 1960 to 1978, although the Snowdons had started to drift apart in the early seventies. A few months after their divorce was finalised, Antony went on to marry his second wife Lucy Lindsay-Hogg. They separated in 2000 after it emerged that Antony had fathered a son with Melanie Cable-Alexander, an editor at Country Life magazine.
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