Lord Snowdon, queen's former brother-in-law and photgrapher, dies at 86

LONDON — Lord Snowdon, the society photographer and filmmaker who married Britain's Princess Margaret and continued to mix in royal circles even after their divorce, has died. He was 86.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II's former brother-in-law is another reminder of the passing of the wartime generation that grew up with the 90-year-old queen and her friends and relatives.

Buckingham Palace said that the queen, elder sister to Margaret who died in 2002, had been told of Snowdon's death.

He died peacefully at his home on Friday. Photo agency Camera Press confirmed his death.

His survivors include his two children with Margaret, David Armstrong-Jones, now the second Earl of Snowdon and formerly known as Viscount Linley, and Lady Sarah Chatto, and their two children each, plus two other children with other women.

One of the country's most famous photographers, Snowdon was one of the few top-echelon royals to hold down an outside job after he married Margaret in 1960, and his professional reputation grew steadily.

Snowdon was admired for his discretion, never speaking with the media about the breakup of the marriage in 1978, and rejecting offers to write a book about it. But over time, a number of details about his own complicated love life emerged, giving him a reputation as a man with a long list of lovers and mistresses.

Born Antony Armstrong-Jones, he was made the first Earl of Snowdon by the queen upon his marriage to Margaret. He was a slightly bohemian member of London's smart set and an established society photographer when he and the queen's sister surprised the country with their engagement in February 1960.

They had met at a London party and managed to keep their courtship a secret in the months that followed, despite intense interest in Margaret's romantic life.

Unconventional, artistic and not nearly as wealthy as Margaret's other suitors, Armstrong-Jones lived in a studio in west London and did his own cooking. He was certainly not seen by the public and press as a royal prospect.

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