One of the most scandalous plot lines of The Crown's second season implies that Princess Margaret's husband, Antony Armstrong-Jones, fathered a child out of wedlock. And while the show sometimes takes creative liberties with the facts, this is one element of the drama that checks out.
In addition to his two children with the Queen's sister, Lady Sarah Chatto and David Armstrong-Jones, and a daughter, Lady Frances Armstrong-Jones, with his second wife Lucy Mary Lindsay-Hogg, the Earl of Snowdon actually has two other children.
He has a son, Jasper William Oliver Cable-Alexander, who was born in 1998 and is the product of Snowdon's affair with Melanie Cable-Alexander, a magazine editor.
But The Crown tells the story of Polly Fry, the daughter he fathered before marrying Princess Margaret.
Fry was born just a few weeks after Princess Margaret and Armstrong-Jones tied the knot (and he became the Earl of Snowdon). She had been brought up assuming that Jeremy Fry, a good friend of Snowdon's, was her biological father, but questions arose. It wasn't until 2004 that Fry confirmed Lord Snowden was her father by persuading him to take a DNA test."When you reach a certain stage in your life, you just want to know... " Fry said, according to the Telegraph.
At the time, the Earl of Snowdon denied rumors that he had taken such a test and Jeremy Fry called the gossip “utter nonsense.” However, Snowdon later acknowledged the truth.
The Crown alleges that Fry and his then-wife Camilla (they later divorced) had a three-way relationship with Snowdon (who was known for having both male and female partners), a rumor substantiated by Anne de Courcy's semi-authorized 2008 biography, Snowdon: The Biography.
To make things even more dramatic, the book also alleges that Fry was going to be Snowdon's best man at his wedding to Princess Margaret before he "stood down late in the day due to an alleged illness," per the Telegraph.
Polly Fry apparently found the experience of learning the truth to be a painful one but ultimately felt it did not change her life.
"Finding out at the age of 45 that the man I had idolized and put on a pedestal higher than Nelson’s Column since I was a small child was not in fact my father was a hard burden to bear," she wrote in the Daily Mail in 2008. "Rather than being twisted with guilt and shame at what I’ve done in uncovering a secret that I should have been told long ago, I can just carry on being little old me, the person I am today."
When Snowdon died earlier this year, he left no money to to Fry; however she did attend his funeral at Westminster Abbey.
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