Princess Margaret, the younger sister of the late Queen Elizabeth, was born on August 21, 1930.
She died in 2002 at the age of 71, leaving behind two adult children – David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon, and Lady Sarah Chatto.
Margaret raised the children with her husband of 18 years, Antony Armstrong Jones, who became the Earl of Snowdon after his marriage.
Parenting expert Denis Liam Murphy spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the late Princess’s unconventional methods when it came to raising her children.
He claimed: “The way Prince Margaret parented brings into question the age-old talking point of quality over quantity. All too often we think parents have to be around all the time, and their absence is seen as a negative.
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“However, this doesn’t take into account the unique and subjective factors that surround an individual and their families. Many parents don’t know how they will be when their baby is born. Some take to it like a fish to water, others need time to warm up. That can be minutes, days, months and even years.
“Either way, the goal is to have honestly loving people around our babies and children, regardless of their label. So if that comes in the form of a nanny rather than one or both of the parents, then this is the ultimate goal, not how much time we are present.
“As we know, even though many parents are physically present with their children, they are not emotionally there. They are often distracted by other things.
“It’s reported that her children spent a lot of time with family members over the summer holidays at Balmoral for example, whilst their parents holidayed elsewhere, and that she was ‘less interested’ in small children – which was totally different as they grew.
“It looks like Princess Margaret made sure she was completely focused on her children when she was around them. In my experience, this is one of the greatest gifts we can give our children.”
David Armstrong Jones, 61, and Lady Sarah Chatto, 59, both seem incredibly down-to-earth. Mr Murphy explained if this is down to Princess Margaret’s parenting.
He opined: “There is an argument to say this is all amplified when you look at any Royal Family. On the surface, with all their wealth, power and influence, it is easy to think they are privileged and don’t have anything to complain about.
“We think this is an advantage in life. But again, if we are talking about health and happiness then there is no secret formula to follow, as this so-called privilege definitely doesn’t guarantee these.
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“When it comes to Princess Margaret and her parenting decisions, it is easy to see she provided the perfect environment for her children. Why can we be so categorical about this? Because we have the benefit of hindsight and radiant comments from both her children who have grown up happy and healthy.
“David is on record saying how much he loved being around his mother. And why he and his sister continue to run their mother’s charity in her honour. This appreciation is there even in the face of unimaginable pressures and expectations that can come from being part of a Royal Family.”
Mr Murphy expanded on Princess Margaret’s quirks when it came to parenting: “Even though Princess Margaret had personal challenges throughout her life, including a tumultuous marriage, she maintained a relaxed and informal demeanour.
“At the same time, she wasn’t afraid to reveal her sense of humour while showing her playful and fun-loving nature. It created an atmosphere for her children to explore and follow their passions.
“It might not seem like it at first, but one of her parenting quirks is that she didn’t rely on control. When you consider most households are run like prisons, with a control-based reward and punishment style, David and Sarah had a lot of freedom.
“Princess Margaret made sure David and Sarah were not only surrounded by creativity, music, arts and play, but also made sure they interacted with many interesting people from many cultural backgrounds.
“Her actions proved that she was a very aware individual and loving mother. She made sure her children grew up open-minded and didn’t exploit their royal association.
“David confirmed this by recounting a story when he was young and someone bowed to him during an event, and his mother immediately told them off. It demonstrated her dedication to bringing up down-to-earth independent people. Maybe because she witnessed what the alternative created in other family members.”
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