Who is Charles Armstrong-Jones? And why do we never hear from Princess Margaret’s self-taught musican grandson?
- Viscount Linley is the only one of Margaret’s grandchildren to have a title
- The Earl of Snowdon’s son has just turned 24
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Brought up in the glare of publicity – and rarely shy to assert her royal status – Princess Margaret seems to have wanted a very different childhood for her son and daughter.
‘My children aren’t royal, they just happen to have the Queen as an aunt’, she once said.
And it seems her grandchildren enjoy the same low-key approach to life.
Charles Armstrong Jones at the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla at Westminster Abbey on May 6
In March 2012, Charles – pictured here with father Earl Snowdon, was appointed as the first Page of Honour to his great-aunt, Queen Elizabeth. Since then, he has undertaken no royal responsibilities
Charles (far right) is pictured with his father the Earl of Snowdon (far left), sister Lady Margarita (centre left) and his mother Serena, Countess of Snowdon
Few members of the public, for example, would recognise Charles Armstrong-Jones, for example, even though he is the Queen’s great-nephew and a key part of the extended Royal Family.
Charles, who has just turned 24, has the title Viscount Linsley, but leads a private life as a musician – showing an artistic bent that perhaps reflects something of his grandmother, Princess Margaret, his cabinet-maker father and artist aunt, Lady Sarah Chatto.
His cousin Sam Chatto, meanwhile, is an artist and yoga teacher.
Princess Margaret’s four grandchildren typically appear only for important national events such as royal weddings, funerals, the Coronation or Trooping the Colour.
The eldest child of David Armstrong-Jones and his former-wife, Serena, Charles Patrick Inigo Armstrong-Jones, 24, was born at the Portland Hospital in Marylebone on July 1, 1999.
A year later, Lord Snowdon moved into Kensington Palace with his then-wife and his son Charles in 2000 to look after Princess Margaret before she died in May 2002.
READ MORE: Meet Princess Margaret’s free-spirited grandchildren… (who live without the burden of Royal responsibility)
Just three months after her death, Charles’s younger sister was born at the same hospital, Lady Margarita Elizabeth Rose Alleyne Armstrong-Jones.
The family remained in London afterwards, with the occasional weekend spent in Gloucestershire on the Bamfords’ Daylesford estate.
The Queen stayed in close contact with her nephew and always invited his family to spread Christmas with the rest of the Royal Family at Sandringham.
Like other family members, including Princes William and Harry, Charles was educated at Eton College and was in the same year as his cousin Arthur Chatto, the second son of Princess Margaret’s daughter, Lady Sarah Chatto.
Charles then went on to study product design engineering at Loughborough University.
Unlike his younger sister, Charles did not play a part in Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding in April 2011.
In March 2012, the 12-year-old royal was appointed as the first Page of Honour to his great-aunt, Queen Elizabeth.
Like many members of his family, including Princes William and Harry, Charles was educated at Eton College and was in the same year as his cousin Arthur Chatto, the second son of Lady Sarah Chatto (right)
Born in 1999, Charles moved into Kensington Palace with his father and mother in 2000
It was a ceremonial role that involved holding the long train of the Queen’s dress on formal occasions, including the State Opening of Parliament and the Order of the Garter service.
Speaking of his appointment as a Page of Honour, one courtier told The Telegraph: ‘Charles never made a fuss about not being made a pageboy, but the Queen was keen to ensure that he did not feel left out.’
Charles maintained his role until 2015, since when he has since lived free of royal responsibilities.
Graduating in 2021, he now works as a musician. His sister Margarita told Tatler: ‘He is very into his orchestral music. He is self-taught [and he] can sing, play the piano and the guitar.
‘Somehow he combines it all together – including online choirs – on his laptop into one piece of music.’
Charles’s father, David, became Earl of Snowdon following the death of his own father, Antony Armstrong-Jones in 2017.
Charles Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley is the eldest child of Princess Margaret’s son, David Armstrong-Jones
Princess Margaret’s grandchildren Arthur Chatto, Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Charles Armstrong-Jones and Samuel Chatto (L-R) were pictured at a thanksgiving service for the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret in 2012
Charles, in turn, became Viscount Linley.
Today, he is the only one of Princess Margaret’s grandchildren to have a title. Now, he is the heir apparent to the Earldom of Snowdon and 26th in the line of succession to the British throne, after his father.
His parents, David and Lady Sarah, are regulars at major royal events, seen at weddings, Royal Ascot, Trooping the Colour, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations and last year’sr state funeral.
May, David attended the Coronation of King Charles and Queen Camilla with his two children by his side. The royals were seated behind a row of royals including Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and Prince Harry.
King Charles has close to his first cousins from his late mother’s side of the family – David Armstrong-Jones and his sister, Lady Sarah Chatto.
He took his father’s title, Viscount Linley, when his grandfather died. His father, David Armstrong-Jones, became the 2nd Earl of Snowdon (pictured with David Walliams, right)
His parents, David Armstrong-Jones and Serena Stanhope met when her father, the 12th Earl of Harrington, asked David to design furniture for him.
Their 1993 wedding at St Margaret’s Westminster was attended by 650 guests, including Elton John, the Aga Khan and King Constantine II of Greece, and the British Royal Family.
But after being married for almost 30 years, David and Serena announced their divorce in2020. A spokesman said the pair had: ‘amicably agreed that their marriage has come to an end’.
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