October 31, 1955
Princess Margaret is spending the weekend at Uckfield House in Sussex, the home of Lord Rupert and Lady Camilla Nevill. Group Captain Peter Townsend is "understood" to be the guest of Lord Rupert's older brother, the Marquess of Abergavenny, at his country estate, Elridge Castle, about 10 miles away, reports the New York Times.
Lord Abergavenny and Lord Rupert are close friends of the Royal Family.
Police with walkie-talkie radios and police dogs are guarding the princess' privacy.
Princess Margaret and Townsend were seen together earlier today, "strolling on the grounds of Uckfield House. She had skipped church in order to spend time with Townsend, A small crowd had gathered outside the house, but the police asked them to leave.
The couple are beginning to show the strain as the "result of being constantly watched by crowds and newspaper men." The Observer reported today that it was "widely believed" that an announcement would not be delayed.
The newspaper also noted that if Princess Margaret "rejected" Townsend, she would be "presented as a martyr who had been sacrificed by the machinations of the Monarchy and the Church."
A large percentage of the public would not believe Margaret if she said she rejected Townsend because she did not love him. The general opinion would be that Margaret "had given way to cruel pressure."
If they married, and "withdrew into a private life," Princess Margaret, the editorial argued, that she might still "be depicted as a martyr," and the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Church of England, itself, and the Monarchy "might be widely criticized."
The romance between the 25-year-old princess and the 40-year-old divorced airman has "shaken the monarchy and the state church."
Another newspaper, The People, reports: "It is now an open secret that the Princess is defying the wishes of the Queen and her mother in insisting on further meetings with a man they have banished from royal circles."