In Season 2 of The Crown, Princess Margaret found the man who would become her husband — much like the real Margaret did at the same point in her life. The whirlwind romance between her and photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones led to a wedding that was every inch a royal occasion. Interested parties can find that out firsthand by checking out videos of Princess Margaret's wedding. Hers was the very first royal wedding to play out live on television, which meant that millions could watch it and it was recorded for posterity. Living vicariously through her big day is as easy as typing a few key words into YouTube.
But even though there's plenty of footage of Margaret's procession to Westminster Abbey and subsequent walk down the aisle, it won't quite have the cinematic quality one has come to expect after episodes of The Crown. Margaret was married on May 6, 1960 and the quality of the film (particularly on television) wasn't what it is today. It may not be crystal clear or full color, but it does give viewers a look at what it was like for the princess to get married in front of the entire country. It also makes it easier to compare how the fictionalized version of the event stacked up against the real thing.
A 10-minute video posted by British Movietone provides the highlights of the lengthy affair. Fans can see just how many people were camped out for a glimpse of the festivities, including some delightful shots of breakfast sausages prepared on the street amongst campers and a few ladies setting their hair from the comfort of sleeping bags. Then Queen Elizabeth II made her first appearance, though it was difficult to spot her alongside the Queen Mother in their carriage. On full display, however, were prancing horses in full regalia, so the important details are all accounted for.
The video then cut to the arrival of Margaret's bridesmaids, which included the very young Princess Anne, daughter of the Queen. Even fancier horses heralded Margaret as she made her way in the Glass Coach to Westminster Abbey, a mere puff of white gown waving from the window. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was by her side because he was the one who walked her down the aisle; Margaret and Elizabeth's father had died several years prior.
The entire video was accompanied by the exact kind of voiceover you would want for a midcentury British wedding; the narrator's voice sounds like it's straight out of a Disney cartoon. When panning the thronging crowd (which could not be matched by the millions of viewers watching from home), the narration stressed that Margaret's marriage to photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones was a love match.
Not only did that make it even more exciting to celebrate (it's always better to cheer when you know the two people pledging their lives to each other are doing so because they're in love), but it was comforting to a public that had watched Margaret's engagement to Captain Peter Townsend reach a disappointing conclusion.
After taking you through the arrivals and into the church, British Movietone's video will let you see a few moments of the vows before following the entire procession back out into the street. The newlyweds returned to Buckingham Palace together, where they set out on a yacht for their honeymoon to the Caribbean.
Though certainly not the only video of Princess Margaret's wedding to Antony Armstrong-Jones (some videos are even in color!), the British Movietone short film gives viewers everything they need to know, from the important moments to the gorgeous dress and tiara Margaret sported on the day. It was a memorable moment, and luckily it's an easy one to relive.
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