Princess Margaret’s former lady-in-waiting compares her ‘spare’ struggles to Prince Harry’s

“She did gripe about it a bit”

Prince Harry and Princess Margaret
(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation and STF/AFP via Getty Images/Future)

Princess Margaret's former lady-in-waiting has shared some thinly-veiled comparisons between Prince Harry and Princess Margaret, explaining that they both struggled after being born the "spare" to future monarchs. 

While the title of spare has seemingly only recently entered the public consciousness thanks to Prince Harry's scathing autobiography Spare, many royals have previously had to grapple with having the title - though less publicly than Harry.

Princess Margaret's former lady-in-waiting, Lady Anne, has now made some thinly-veiled comparisons between Prince Harry and Princess Margaret, noting that they were both born the "spare" to future monarchs. 

The former royal lady-in-waiting entered the royal circle when she was just a child, growing up with Princess Margaret as they lived close by. Speaking with the Daily Beast, she admitted that while she often doesn't like to talk about Harry and Meghan Markle, she did find some 'interesting' comparisons between the couple and her former friend, Princess Margaret. 

Speaking with the Daily Beast about the couple's attendance at the King's upcoming coronation, the 90-year-old Lady Anne said, "Charles would probably like them to come but I just don’t know. I don’t particularly like talking about Harry and Meghan, but the interesting thing is that of course I knew and was with another 'spare', Princess Margaret."

Princess Margaret and The Queen

(Image credit: Lisa Sheridan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Lady Anne, whose family has been linked to the royals for generations, explained that while she had "never heard Margaret criticise" her older sister, the late Queen, "she did gripe about" their differing upbringings "a bit".

The former lady-in-waiting explained, "She was so loyal to her sister. The only thing she did say was that she wished she’d been better educated. The Queen had tutors who came in from Oxford and Cambridge to teach her, but all Margaret ever had was a governess and I think that did annoy her.

"She did gripe about it a bit, but other than that she was completely loyal. And the Queen had everything! Margaret didn’t even have her own house in England. The only house she ever actually owned herself was the one that we helped to build on Mustique."

Princess Margaret and The Queen Mother

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The home Lady Anne refers to is the one built for Princess Margaret on land that Lady Anne and her late husband Colin Tennant, 3rd Baron Glenconner, gave to the Princess following her marriage to Antony Armstrong-Jones, Lord Snowdon, in 1960. The land was located on a private island called Mustique.

A residence was later built there for the royal couple and it eventually became a beloved home for Margaret following her divorce from Lord Snowdon.

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News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.