Always known for her outspoken views, it has been revealed that Princess Margaret sparked fury from the IRA after calling the Irish people “pigs”. It is believed that Margaret made the comment while on an official visit to the United States in 1979 and in conversation with the Mayor of Chicago, Jane Byrne.
At the time the comment was supposedly made, Lord Nigel Napier, Princess Margaret’s spokesman, denied that she had ever insulted the Irish.
In claims by a new biography by Christopher Warwick, however, it is stated that Princess Margaret did indeed make the remarks and that the IRA was furious – claiming that they were so furious that they wanted to kill The Queen’s sister.
Princess Margaret was born on 21st August 1930 and was the younger daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. Margaret enjoyed a rich and varied life and played an active role in supporting her sister, Queen Elizabeth II, as well as being Patron of over 80 organisations ranging from children’s charities to ballet companies.
At the time, it was reported that Princess Margaret had commented, “The Irish, they’re pigs.” The threat thereafter from the IRA was taken so seriously that the FBI launched a hunt for a suspected IRA assassin nicknamed The Jackal. Officers even went as far as raiding a room where they believed the killer would be staying – the room was empty and the suspect was never found.
Following the threat, Princess Margaret’s had her secret service agents doubled, police snipers put in position and her limousine decked out in bulletproof armour. Princess Margaret faced protests throughout the rest of her visit and Mr Warwick commented, “Despite alarming repercussions, the tour continued.”
Princess Margaret died aged 71 on 9th February 2002. Unusually for a member of The Royal Family, Margaret was cremated and her ashes were deposited in King George VI Memorial Chapel in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.