The title, Earl of Snowden, was given to Anthony Armstrong-Jones by The Queen in October 1961 – nearly eighteen months after he had married Princess Margaret, the sister of Queen Elizabeth II. Though born in London, his family had a holiday home in North Wales where he stayed as a child, and this may have influenced his choice of title. There had been a little disquiet in some quarters at Princess Margaret marrying a commoner. Unlike the recent awards to Prince Charles’s two sons, which were made just before their weddings, this came later.
The title was a hereditary title, and at the time, it entitled Anthony Armstrong-Jones to sit in the House of Lords which he did for a significant number of years. He divorced Princess Margaret in 1978 and later remarried Lucy Lindsay Hogg. He died peacefully at his home in January 2017.
The current Earl of Snowden is his and Margaret’s son and elder child, David, who had previously held the subsidiary title Viscount Linley.
David married Hon. Serena Stanhope in 1993, and they have two children: Charles (born in 1999), who currently holds the title of Viscount Linley, and his sister, Lady Margarita (born in 2002). In 2011, Lady Margarita was one of the bridesmaids in Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s 29 April 2011 wedding at Westminster Abbey. At twentieth and twenty-first in the order of royal succession, The Earl of Snowden and his son, Viscount Linley are the highest on the list not directly related to Queen Elizabeth II.
The Earl of Snowdon title is new, unlike many which have passed to the monarch through the centuries due to the incumbent dying either without children or those who could not be recognised as such. However, there was a Viscount Snowden, appointed in 1931; Philip Snowden was a Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Government of Ramsey McDonald.