Below are passages from a Daily Mail UK article about Princess Margaret and the man she had wanted to marry. The bittersweet longing in the piece and mournful ending provide enough drama to sustain a good long piece of fiction.
Until then, Group Captain Peter Townsend and the Princess had been forced to hide their feelings. With the world watching, at the Coronation of Margaret’s sister, the couple seemed so much in love.
But it was a love that would be denied. She was a Princess who could not renounce her birthright and he was a divorcee in an age when divorce was a mark of shame….
They told each other they wanted to be together, but the prospect of marriage between the Queen’s sister and a divorced man raised ecclesiastical and constitutional problems.
The Queen, being fond of Margaret, was sympathetic. The Queen Mother, however, was deeply upset.
When, in 1953, it became clear that the couple wanted to marry, the Queen asked them to do nothing and wait a year, perhaps hoping the flame of desire would die.
It was not until American columnists began to write about the possibility of a marriage that similar reports were printed in the British Press. Lascelles, the Queen’s private secretary, warned the monarch that Townsend must be sent away and, reluctantly, she agreed.
He was given a two-year posting as air attache in Brussels. But banishment neither stopped the romance nor speculation about it.