The world was dazzled when Princess Margaret married photographer Antony Armstrong Jones at Westminster Abbey on May 6th 1960.
It was the first royal wedding to be broadcast on TV – and more than 300 million people across the globe tuned in to watch it.
At the time, Margaret was an icon of 1960s style and fashion. She looked resplendent in her Norman Hartnell wedding dress crowned by the stunning Poltimore diamond tiara.
Crafted by Garrards of London in the 1870s, the tiara was sold for £926,400 after Margaret’s death.
Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the princess made her way to the abbey in a glass coach. More than 2,000 guests were waiting, including the King and Queen of Sweden and Queen Ingrid of Denmark.
When the Archbishop of Canterbury had concluded the service, the royal couple made the traditional appearance on the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The newlyweds were the epitome of British style – the elegant princess and the dashing, bohemian photographer.
In March 1962, Princess Margaret brought all that radiance and glamour to Manchester when she made an official visit to the city.
Newly uncovered photographs from the M.E.N. archive capture the moments Margaret enchanted a city and the people who crowded to see her.
The princess looked like a movie star in her fur coat and matching hat as she visited the town hall and local schools.
Our first image sees the princess turning round to robed dignitaries during her speech on the town hall stage, clearly charming them with an informal smile.
She also signed the visitors’ book, carefully watched by the Lord Mayor of Manchester Alderman Lionel Biggs.
Although she was a patron of the arts, Margaret also took a great interest in science and education. She was clearly delighted to see lessons in progress at the Albert Memorial School in Collyhurst.
As well as watching youngsters carry out chemistry experiments, she also chatted to pupils learning woodwork in the school’s technical classes.
Margaret’s Manchester visit was the prelude to a busy year for the princess and her husband, who had been given the titles Count and Countess of Snowdon on their wedding.
Three months later, in June, they undertook a major tour to Jamaica to represent the Crown at the nation’s independence ceremonies.
The visit was almost like a home-coming for the Princess as she’d made a huge impression touring the Caribbean on the royal yacht Britannia in 1955. Islanders had even named calypsos after her!
Her honeymoon was a six-week cruise in the Caribbean, again aboard Britannia, and her favourite wedding present was the plot of land Colin Tennant had given her on his private island of Mustique.
The residence she built there, Les Jolies Eaux, became her holiday home and refuge for decades to come.
The Count and Countess of Snowdon – or the Snowdons as they were popularly known – helped break down class barriers by championing the latest styles and trends of the 1960s.
They mixed in circles beyond traditional aristocratic confines and were often seen with the leading pop groups and artists of the time.
Days after their visit to Manchester, Margaret was pictured on stage with Cliff Richard and the Shadows, clapping along to the music next to the Bishop of Bath and Wells.
A few months later she was chatting to the Beatles at the Royal Variety Performance and attending parties and receptions with the Rolling Stones.
The 1962 visit was not the first Margaret had made to Manchester. She came to the city in November 1953 at the age of 23.
Our photo shows her again wearing a fur coat and hat as well as dazzling jewellery.
It was only a year after her beloved father King George VI had died of lung cancer and four months after her sister Elizabeth had been crowned Queen in June 1953.