Princess Margaret’s trips to romantic warehouse ‘hideaway’ with Antony Armstrong-Jones revealed - and you won't believe how she got there

Princess Margaret’s trips in the early days of her romance with Antony Armstrong-Jones were kept secret from the press thanks to this…

Princess Margaret's trips with Antony Armstrong Jones revealed. Seen here together at the Motor show
(Image credit: Photo by Staff/Syndication International/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

Princess Margaret’s trips to a romantic warehouse “hideaway” with her future husband Antony Armstrong-Jones has been revealed - and you won't believe how she got there. 

From Princess Margaret’s affair with a gardener 17 years her junior to Princess Margaret's lavish way of paying for things, the Queen’s sister’s glamorous and freeing approach to royal life consistently attracted a lot of attention. But it seems that in the early days of her romance with photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones (later Lord Snowdon) whom she married in 1960, attention was the very last thing either of them wanted. 

To avoid the limelight Princess Margaret’s trips to spend time with him at a romantic “hideaway” were incredibly low-key - though you’ll likely never have guessed her mode of transport! 

Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon dancing with her husband Antony Armstrong-Jones

(Image credit: Photo by Len Trievnor/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

First aired in 2018, the BBC’s two-part documentary, Princess Margaret: The Rebel Royal, delved into the shocking details that even long-time fans might not have known. Lord Snowdon’s biographer Anne De Courcy explained in Part 1 of the enlightening documentary that Antony had a room in a warehouse in Rotherhithe in South East London.  

“Once they started getting interested in each other they wanted to keep it secret. They did not want to be dogged by the press the entire time,” Anne told viewers. “He’d got this room in Rotherhithe. It was a room in an old warehouse and he painted it and he had a little tiny stove and a little sink.”

Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones at the Royal Lodge in Windsor

(Image credit: Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Very appropriately given that traditionally the monarch owns all the swans in UK waters, Anne shared that Princess Margaret and her future husband could see “swans floating past” via the “big window” of Tony’s room. 

“It was a very romantic hideaway really,” Lord Snowdon’s biographer reflected, before disclosing how Princess Margaret would be taken down to the Rotherhithe room via a surprising mode of transport that helped conceal her identity from any prying eyes…

Surprising as it might seem to think of the Queen’s glamorous sister traveling in leathers and a helmet rather than in the luxury of a private car, Princess Margaret apparently went under-the-radar by traveling on the back of a motorbike. 

Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones attend Badminton Horse Trials

(Image credit: Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

Instead, rather like how Prince Philip was “often unrecognized” using a taxi to get to London engagements in later years, Princess Margaret looked like “just a girl on the back of a man’s motorbike” at these moments. Whilst it might shock some, Princess Margaret’s trips via motorbike to the warehouse room helped keep her romance with Antony private from the press.

Princess Margaret and Antony were married for eighteen years and had two children together, David, Viscount Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto.

Lord Snowdon and Princess Margaret with their children David and Sarah

(Image credit: Photo by RDB/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

Princess Margaret’s divorce came in 1978 and according to her private secretary Lord Nigel Napier her response was quite surprising when he told her Lord Snowdon wished to proceed with the divorce. 

“Thank you, Nigel. I think that’s the best news you’ve ever given me,” she reportedly declared. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!