The heartbreaking reason Princess Margaret broke longstanding tradition when it came to her burial

Princess Margaret's burial broke a longstanding royal tradition that existed for centuries as the Princess decided to be cremated

Princess Margaret's burial broke a longstanding royal tradition that existed for centuries as the Princess decided to be cremated
(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

Princess Margaret's burial broke a tradition that has been held for centuries, and the reason behind this is as sad as it is sweet.

Following the Queen's funeral in 2022, the Queen was buried next to her husband, Prince Philip in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle. The Queen was also placed with her father, George VI, her mother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and her sister Princess Margaret.

However, in order for Margaret to stay with her parents, the former King and Queen, and her sister, the Queen, she had to make a decision about her final resting place.


(Image credit: Getty)

While it is tradition for the members of the Royal Family to be buried, Princess Margaret made the decision to be cremated. Princess Margaret was the first royal to be cremated in decades and it is thought that the last member of the Royal Family to be cremated was Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, who was the daughter of Queen Victoria, and died in 1939.

This decision was made so she could share her final burial place with her parents and sister, which would have been impossible if she had been buried in a coffin.

Lady Glenconner, a former lady-in-waiting to the Princess, told The Scotsman, "I think she’d like to be with the late King, which she will now be. There’s room I think for her to be with him now. She just said she was going to be cremated." 

Following her death at the age of 71 in 2002, the Princess' ashes were placed in the Royal Vault next to former monarchs, including her parents and her sister. As of 2022, the family of four has been reunited in their burial place, along with Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen's ledger stone, marking her final resting place

(Image credit: Royal Collection Trust/The Dean and Canons of Windsor via Getty Images)

The Princess was cremated in Slough crematorium for a standard fee, plus a surcharge because she was not a local resident. Her former lady-in-waiting added that cremation and being laid to rest with her family was a better option than the alternative in Margaret's eyes."She told me that she found Frogmore very gloomy," said Lady Glenconner. 

The Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore is a larger burial place for members of the Royal Family and the final resting place of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. 

The Mausoleum is located near Frogmore House and Frogmore Cottage which is the former home of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and is just half a mile from the Queen's former home, Windsor Castle.

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.