If Meghan Markle feels she needs a primer on what can happen to Windsor princesses she would be well advised to study the case of Princess Margaret. That may seem odd since Princess Diana, as Prince Harry’s mother, is a far more recent casualty and Diana and Meghan are both examples of outsiders gaining admission to the gilded cage.
But Margaret is an equally useful study because she was the classic case of an insider wanting out, with consequences that are about to become vividly clear in the second season of The Crown.
As the past season demonstrated, Margaret’s first attempt at escape was through the love affair that triggered just about every tripwire put in place to keep her from transgression in the eyes of both the family and the old men running the country. She fell for Group Captain Peter Townsend, who arrived at the palace as a war hero to serve her father, George VI, and became a trusted family aide. He was much older than Margaret—and divorced.