The Earl of Snowdon may be one of the lesser-known members of the royal family, however, he made headlines this week after he and his wife, the Countess of Snowdon, announced that they are separating. The Earl, David Armstrong-Jones, is the son of the late Princess Margaret and photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones. He was married to wife Serena for 26 years - and they share two children together.
David Armstrong-Jones was born in 1961
The 58-year-old grew up in Kensington Palace with his younger sister, Lady Sarah Chatto, and their parents, who divorced when he was a teenager. When he was five, the young royal started lessons in the Buckingham Palace schoolroom with his cousin Prince Andrew. He went to several independent schools: first, to Gibbs Pre-Preparatory School, which was followed by the pre-preparatory section of Ashdown House School in East Sussex. David then became a student at Millbrook House School before enrolling at Bedales School.
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From 1980 to 1982, the royal studied at Parnham House in the small town of Beaminster in Dorset, for craftsmen in wood. Since then, David - who is 21st in line to the throne - founded his own company making bespoke furniture under his professional name, David Linley. He has also written books about furniture and home interiors.
His wife and children
David Armstrong-Jones married Serena in October 1993
The Earl – David Armstrong-Jones, and wife Serena tied the knot in 1993, and share two children, Viscount Linley, Charles Armstrong-Jones and Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones. While the children tend to stay out of the public eye, Margarita was one of the bridesmaids at the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's royal wedding in 2011, and more recently was pictured with the rest of her family at the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's royal wedding in 2018.
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Relationship with the Queen
The Earl's mother, Princess Margaret is the Queen's sister. She died in 2002 and his father Antony, a celebrity photographer, died in 2017. The Queen has a close relationship with her beloved sister's children. In 2018, royal biographer Christopher Warwick gave an insight into their lives away from the spotlight in the documentary, Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal.
David has a close relationship with his aunt, the Queen
Discussing how the Queen would take care of Margaret's children, David and Lady Sarah Chatto, he said: "Margaret and Tony had no compunction about going off on holiday and leaving the children behind. Very often, they were left in the care of the Queen – the Queen had David and Sarah, you know - and they loved it." He added: "Princess Margaret was a good mother, but more especially when the children were growing older. She wasn't really the most maternal of women, so she wasn't particularly interested in babies and toddlers."
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The aftermath of Princess Margaret's death
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Both David and his sister had to sell a large number of pieces of jewellery that Margaret inherited from Queen Mary. The siblings used the money to pay off the taxes on their mother's estate following her death in 2002. Items they sold included the Lady Mount Stephen Necklace, the tiara which Margaret wore on her wedding day and a diamond brooch that belonged to the late Queen Mother.
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