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Peter Townsend

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Aviator

The Resume

    (November 22, 1914-June 19, 1995)
    Born in Rangoon, Burma (Yangon, Myanmar)
    RAF Officer
    Led the No. 65 Squadron during the Battle of Britain
    Equerry to King George VI (1944-52) and Queen Elizabeth II (1952-53)
    Engaged to Princess Margaret (April, 1953)
    Couple announced they would not marry (October 31, 1955)

Why he might be annoying:

    On his first day at Buckingham Palace as Equerry, Princess Elizabeth reportedly told 13-year-old Margaret, 'Bad luck -- he's married.'
    His divorce from his first wife made a potential marriage to Margaret controversial due to the Church of England's conservative positions on divorce.
    The potential marriage was opposed by a majority of the cabinet, a majority of Dominion Prime Ministers, the Archbishop of Canterbury, and Prince Philip.
    It is unclear if Margaret was told she would have to forfeit her annual £6,000 civil list allowance if she and Townsend married outside the Church of England.
    A plan to break up the couple by posting Townsend to the British embassy in Brussels as air attached largely worked, as their ardor had noticeably cooled when they reunited after two years.
    His and Margaret's love letters in the Royal Archives will not be made public until 2030 (Margaret's 100th birthday).

Why he might not be annoying:

    He was rescued after having to ditch his place twenty miles off the English coast (July 11, 1940).
    He lost the big toe of his left foot after shell shrapnel tore through the canopy of his plane (August 31, 1940).
    he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for having 'displayed outstanding powers of leadership and organization, combined with great determination and skill in air combat.'
    King George VI reportedly looked on him as the son he never had.
    The Independent wrote about his behavior during the engagement to Princess Margaret, 'Townsend displayed, throughout the drama, impeccable decorum.'
    Late in life, he expressed relief that the engagement to Princess Margaret had to be called off, noting that marrying into the royal family was 'an almost impossible undertaking.'

Credit: C. Fishel


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    For 2021, as of last week, Out of 2 Votes: 0% Annoying