Princess Margaret's depression was ignored by Royal Family, says Princess Diana's biographer

Princess Margaret's mental health issues were dismissed by the Royal Family, according to Princess Diana's biographer

7th september 1968: A young David Linley attends the Braemar Games in Scotland with his mother, Princess Margaret (1930 - 2002) and his cousins, Prince Charles and Princess Anne. (Photo by George Freston/Fox Photos/Getty Images)
(Image credit: George Freston/Fox Photos/Getty Images))

The Royal Family refused to address Princess Margaret’s depression, a royal expert has revealed. 

The Royal Family did little to help Princess Margaret overcome her battle with depression, says royal biographer Andrew Morton. 

The Firm's alleged neglect of the late royal’s illness foreshadows their later treatment of Princess Diana and Meghan Markle, who both claimed they did not receive the help they needed for their mental health issues. 

The author of the bestselling 1992 biography, Diana: Her True Story, has shared disturbing details about the Queen’s supposed failure to acknowledge the depression of her younger sister. 

Margaret had reportedly struggled with psychiatric illness throughout her life, suffering a nervous breakdown in 1974 following the collapse of her marriage to Lord Snowden. However, there was zero tolerance for such issues within the Royal Family - with mental illness ousted as a taboo subject never to be discussed. 

UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 14: Queen Mother With Queen And Princess Margaret At Badminton. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Queen Mother with Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth 

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

“Let’s face it, Margaret had depression and in the Royal Family you are not allowed to be depressed,” Morton wrote in his latest book, Elizabeth & Margaret: the Intimate World of the Windsor Sisters. According to Margaret’s friend, Colin Tennant, it was forbidden to even define the issue. “In her circle, you didn’t mention the word.” 

Friends of Margaret decided to bug her bedroom after her breakdown and release the tapes to a psychiatrist, rather than speaking with the princess directly. 

“They lived in a world where illness was dealt with by going for a long walk – and mental illness was ignored,” Andrew wrote. 

Mental illness was not just ignored - it wasn’t permitted. “No one is allowed to be ill in that family. But the family’s lack of understanding is making the princess’s moods even blacker,” a friend of Margaret’s told the royal biographer. 

Margaret’s despair was reportedly overlooked by the Queen, who took a no-nonsense approach to her sister’s behavior. A week before the princess allegedly overdosed on pills and alcohol, she called a friend and threatened to throw herself out of her bedroom window. The concerned friend, who was hosting a gathering at the time, panicked and immediately rang Elizabeth for guidance. 

To his surprise, the Queen advised him to continue on with his party. “Her bedroom is on the ground floor,” she said. 

Despite this icy response to her sibling's plight, Her Majesty was always a source of inspiration for Princess Margaret. The younger royal's favorable feelings towards her elder sister were recently revealed in this unearthed Princess Margaret interview from the 1960s. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.