Lake Charles American-Press from Lake Charles, Louisiana on June 7, 1964 · Page 45
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Lake Charles American-Press from Lake Charles, Louisiana · Page 45

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Lake Charles, Louisiana
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Sunday, June 7, 1964
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Page 45
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BRITAIN'S BATTLE ROYAL: Once they were kissing cousins, but now the two young princesses are feuding H ALF A MILLION American tourists will be stopping by Buckingham Palace this year. And, almost to a woman, they'll be peeking anxiously between the tall, gilt-tipped railings in hopes of glimpsing one of those cuddly, new royal babies. What they won't see, however, is the deepening feud between two of the babies' mothers, Princess Margaret and her cousin, Princess Alexandra. AB the old wives tell it, family rifts disappear with the first gurgle of a new baby. But when It comes to strong-willed Margaret and stubborn Alexandra, this just hasn't happened. When 27-year-old Alexandra's first baby (a eon) was born Feb. 29, two of the three other expectant royal mothers went to see her. The Duchess of Sent brought gifts for the baby on its first day in the world. Queen Elizabeth came later, looking warmly and happily delighted. " But Princess Margaret, whose second baby was Dot due for several more weeks, did not visit Alexandra—and the whispers about the royal feud buzzed louder. How will the feud affect the future roles and fortunes of the two princesses? The signs suggest that one of them may shortly have to take « back «eat in palace affairs. Such epate, of course, are not altogether unknown in the quick-tempered Windsor family. In fact, the present hostilities are related to previous troubles within the palace. A strong undertow of conflict has been present in the family ever since Prince Philip, a near-penniless "Greek interloper," wed Elizabeth. Though the secret was well kept, Margaret was never in Philip's camp. And, two years ago, Elizabeth was in tears over a family tussle that had driven a further wedge between her husband and her sister Margaret. But today the storm center has shifted from Philip, who is said to be mellowing. It hangs instead over Margaret—as it did in the days when the rebel princess almost upset the family applecart by seeking to wed Peter Townsend, a divorced commoner. The known facts of her budding rift with Alexandra are these: When Margaret had her fling with Townsend, Alexandra's mother, Princess Marina, took Philip's side in denouncing the match. Later, when Margaret married photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, she deliberately left Marina and Alexandra out of the family circle whose opinions she privately sought. Seeing her mother's rising ire against headstrong Margaret, Alexandra adopted a similar attitude and began to seek Margaret's company less and less. Once the two princesses—seven years apart in age—had been close friends; Alexandra had even nursed a schoolgirl "crush" on her glamorous older cousin. But now she showed irritation whenever Margaret's name was mentioned in her hearing. During a recent visit to Greece, she actually left the room when conversation turned to Margaret's marriage! Friends say the breach burst wide open when Alexandra refused to be maid of honor at Margaret's wedding on the excuse that she was "too tall." "Margaret never forgave her, or her mother, for that," I was told. Margaret's pique also has been steadily fanned into anger by Alexandra's growing popularity with the British people. As the younger princess' stock rises, Margaret's tends to fall. "She is no longer the blue-eyed baby at the court," a friend of Elizabeth and Philip told me. Margaret Suffers by Comparison Ordinary Britishers compare Margaret's pleasure-seeking life with that of her hard-working and public-spirited cousin—and draw resentful conclusions. When Margaret left her newborn first child, Viscount Linley, to vacation with her handsome husband in the South Seas, British mothers let out a gasp that could be heard across the English Channel. And Margaret's refusal to breast-feed the baby because it would interfere with her way of life came as an additional shock to the maternal-minded British. Meanwhile, Alexandra, a tall, big-footed, and unaffectedly clumsy girl, was striding through the royal round of chores dropped by Margaret with the chummy success of a Girl Scout leader at a jamboree. Her innocent pleasure at the sight Family Weekly, June 9, J064

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