Sarah Chatto and Earl of Snowdon invited to Prince Philip's funeral

The Queen and Prince Philip’s beloved niece and nephew Sarah Chatto and the Earl of Snowdon who holidayed with the family as children are BOTH invited to the funeral

  • Princess Margaret’s daughter Sarah Chatto, 54, will attend Prince Philip’s funeral
  • She is said to hold a very special place in Her Majesty ‘s affections 
  • Sarah’s lack of affectation or pomposity is in stark contrast to her mother
  • The antithesis of the puffed-up minor Royal, she even uses public transport

The Queen and Prince Philip’s beloved niece and nephew Sarah Chatto and the Earl of Snowdon  will join mourners at Philip’s funeral.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen faced ‘some very difficult’ decisions as she selected the 30 guests permitted under Covid-19 rules, from the original 800-strong congregation, and had tried to ensure all branches of the duke’s family were there. 

The Queen is particularly close to Lady Sarah, who is the daughter of her late sister Princess Margaret and is one of the most low-key Royals.

It is said that in some respects Sarah, a successful artist who is 21st in line to the throne, reminds the Queen of her much-missed sister Margaret, to whom she was very close. 

The Queen and Prince Philip’s beloved niece and nephew Sarah Chatto and the Earl of Snowdon will join mourners at Philip’s funeral 

Earl Snowdon will also be amoung mourners who attend the funeral on Saturday (pictured with Prince Philip) 

Daughter of the Queen’s late sister, Princess Margaret, Lady Sarah, is one of the most low-key Royals yet holds a very special place in Her Majesty’s affections. Pictured: The Queen with Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones

One royal insider previously revealed: ‘The Queen adores Sarah and seeks out her company as often as possible. She is her absolute favourite younger Royal.

‘They are hugely at ease in each other’s company. Much giggling can be heard when they are together. They share a sense of loyalty, fun, duty and the ridiculous.’

One acquaintance said: ‘Sarah is very unassuming; shy and almost embarrassed with no grandeur at all. Take royal events — she’ll be on the balcony, but she never pushes herself to the middle or the front, like some.’

Hence her popularity within royal circles. Often the first choice for godmother — Sarah counts Prince Harry, Prince Edward’s daughter, Louise, and the Duke of Gloucester’s daughter, Rose, among her godchildren — she is known as discreet and utterly loyal.

One royal insider says: ‘The Queen adores Sarah and seeks out her company as often as possible. She is her absolute favourite younger Royal’. Pictured: The Queen and Lady Sarah watch Princess Anne jump to a leading position on her horse in April 1974

Perhaps the only Royal to arrive at Buckingham Palace by foot — and use public transport — Lady Sarah Chatto is the antithesis of the puffed-up minor Royal.

A royal insider previously revealed: ‘With no agenda, no particular ambitions or feeling of being slighted, Sarah has been happy to take a back seat in royal position jostling.

‘She has rarely been heard to utter a criticism of her fellow Royals and is totally trustworthy with secrets and gossip.’

Prince Charles dotes on his cousin. The pair can still be found sketching and doing water colours on the Balmoral estate, chatting easily or ‘hunched over their easels in harmonious silence, as they have been for years’.

The Queen Mother, Lady Sarah and David Linley watch as Prince Edward ‘plants’ a small flower in the centre of a table in the garden of Clarence House

And both Diana and Fergie, at the height of their various scandals, always noted how kind she was.

She was a bridesmaid to Diana at her wedding, and the pair — who had just a three-year age gap between them — had been friendly even before Diana’s engagement.

Fergie wrote that when the infamous ‘toe-sucking’ pictures were published — revealing her affair with financial adviser John Bryan — Sarah was ‘absolutely charming’.

Perhaps having seen her mother humiliated on occasion, she went out of her way to avoid ostracising someone in the same position.

FULL GUEST LIST FOR THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S FUNERAL 

1. The Queen

2. The Prince of Wales

3. The Duchess of Cornwall

4. The Duke of Cambridge

5. The Duchess of Cambridge

6. The Duke of Sussex

7. The Duke of York

8. Princess Beatrice

9. Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

10. Princess Eugenie

11. Jack Brooksbank

12. The Earl of Wessex

13. The Countess of Wessex

14. Lady Louise Windsor

15. Viscount Severn

16. The Princess Royal

17. Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence

18. Peter Phillips

19. Zara Phillips

20. Mike Tindall

21. Earl of Snowdon

22. Lady Sarah Chatto

23. Daniel Chatto

24. Duke of Gloucester

25. Duke of Kent

26. Princess Alexandra

27. Bernhard, Hereditary Prince of Baden

28. Prince Donatus, Landgrave of Hesse

29. Prince Philipp of Hohenlohe-Langenburg

30. The Countess Mountbatten of Burma

 

 

 

Popular, serene, good company; the question that is not lost on the Queen, or royal observers, is how the difficult and moody Princess Margaret, who divorced her equally irascible husband Antony Armstrong-Jones, ended up having two sane, still-married, hard-working children (Sarah’s brother David Linley has a thriving furniture business) while three out of four of the Queen’s own brood have produced more dramas than the West End.  

Princess Margaret’s second child was born in 1964 — the last royal baby born at a palace rather than a hospital — within weeks of cousins Prince Edward, Lady Helen Windsor and James Ogilvy.

At the time, her parents, Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones, Lord Snowdon, were the toast of swinging London, their Kensington Palace apartment — now the London home of William and Catherine — the scene of hedonistic parties. 

But the marriage, a rebound affair after Margaret was forbidden to marry divorced equerry Peter Townsend, was notoriously tempestuous. 

Perhaps the only Royal to arrive at Buckingham Palace by foot — and use public transport — Lady Sarah Chatto is the antithesis of the puffed-up minor Royal

‘With no agenda, no particular ambitions or feeling of being slighted, Sarah has been happy to take a back seat in royal position jostling,’ says one royal insider. Pictured: Lady Sarah attends a Sunday church service at Windsor Castle to mark Prince Philip’s 90th birthday

Fuelled by alcohol and affairs on both sides, their 18-year union was once described as a 16-year break-up.

At just 13, her parents’ divorce was ‘terribly upsetting’ for Sarah. ‘She was devastated,’ according to one insider.

As Margaret was granted custody, the children stayed in Kensington Palace. Sarah was sent to Francis Holland School in Chelsea, a smart all-girls’ day school, followed by Bedales with her brother. 

The mixed boarding school in rural Hampshire — alma mater of actors Daniel Day-Lewis and Minnie Driver — was a fashionable, arty, bohemian choice.

Both Diana (pictured here with Lady Sarah at Smiths Lawn Polo Club in Windsor, in July 1983) and Fergie, at the height of their various scandals, always noted how kind she was

Princess Margaret, who divorced her husband Antony Armstrong-Jones, ended up having two sane, still-married, hard-working children, Sarah and David

It had no uniform and nurtured artistic expression above all else. It was what both parents wanted — and it ensured David and Sarah inherited a love of art.

This ‘progressive’ institution was the polar opposite to the starchiness of a royal upbringing.

One contemporary said that when Lady Sarah turned up ‘she was practically in a velvet-collar coat and tweeds although everyone else was hanging out in their kickers’.

However it was quite possibly this school — with its warm, nurturing atmosphere — that made her the woman she is now.

Sarah had grown up knowing that her mother had little time or patience for babies and small children; despite Snowdon’s reluctance, nannies and housemaids were in charge and the children were instructed never to wake their mother before 11am — a rule that was keenly enforced by Nanny Sumner.

Others add that Margaret always preferred male company and doted on David at the expense of her daughter.

When she gave her house on Mustique island in the Caribbean — Les Jolies Eaux — to David alone on his 27th birthday (he let it out and then sold it, preferring to buy an estate in Provence) it was said that Sarah was not consulted; nor did she profit from the sale.

Her father, however, doted on her and it is from him she is said to have inherited her ‘immense charm’.

It was when Lady Sarah met Daniel Chatto whilst working as a wardrobe assistant on ‘Heat and Dust’, in which dashing actor Chatto had a small role, that her love life became serious (the couple are pictured here on their wedding day on July 14 1994)

Lady Sarah with her husband Daniel at St Stephen’s church after their wedding ceremony

From her father she also inherited her artistic eye. A foundation course at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, followed by a printed textiles course at Middlesex Polytechnic, paved the way for her training at the Royal Academy Schools.

Her oil paintings today sell for thousands and she is Vice President of the Royal Drawing School. From her mother, she inherited a love of dance. While Margaret was Patron of the Royal Ballet School, Sarah is its Vice President.

Not that the young Sarah ever felt herself to be above her art school contemporaries.

She may have shared her 21st birthday with Prince Edward, Lady Helen Windsor and James Ogilvy at Windsor Castle, but she also included all of her friends from art school.

The Earl – David Armstrong-Jones – who is known for his high-end furniture company  – will also attend the funeral tomorrow (pictured) 

It was when she met Daniel Chatto whilst working as a wardrobe assistant on ‘Heat and Dust’, in which dashing actor Chatto had a small role, that her love life became serious.

The son of actor Tom Chatto, and theatrical agent Ros Chatto (who was the mistress of another theatrical agent, Robin Fox), Daniel appeared in around a dozen films and TV programmes, often period dramas based on the novels of W. Somerset Maugham or Charles Dickens.

He soon gave up his acting career, however, to focus on painting, a passion shared with Sarah.

Together he and Sarah set up home in Kensington whilst still unmarried — a fact that enraged Princess Margaret — where they still live in a small, pretty, Grade II listed terrace house. 

Pictured left to right, David Armstrong-Jones, Earl of Snowdon, Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Serena Armstrong-Jones, Countess of Snowdon, and Charles Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, attend the Alexander Dundas’s 18th birthday party hosted by Lord and Lady Dundas on December 16, 2017 in Londo

They also have a Georgian country farmhouse near Midhurst in Sussex, given to Sarah by her godfather, the late art-loving philanthropist Simon Sainsbury.

The informal country life of dogs, horses and annual sheepdog trials — which she judges — is the essence of Sarah, a royal who has never been lured by pomp and ceremony. 

Indeed her wedding to Chatto in July 1994 was such a short, simple affair that chauffeurs were caught by surprise: the Queen, Prince Philip and Diana had to wait at the City church of St Stephen’s Walbrook after the service for their cars to come back. 

Her veil was anchored by the Snowdon Floral Tiara, created from brooches given to Princess Margaret by her husband, and the wedding portraits show the newlyweds flanked by the Queen and the Queen Mother.

Serena Armstrong-Jones, Countess of Snowdon and David Armstrong-Jones at the Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams exhibition dinner, V&A Museum, in London on January 29 2019

Still happily married, Sarah is a devoted mother to their two handsome, charismatic sons: Samuel, 21, Charles’s godson, who is at Edinburgh University and has been a Page of Honour to the Queen, and Arthur, 19, who is also studying at Edinburgh.

Although her childhood lacked the stability she has created for her own family — according to royal insiders, she found her mother’s early indiscretions ‘almost unbearable’ — Sarah remained a loving, dutiful daughter until the end.

Her mother’s death in 2002 — after a series of strokes and four years of suffering — saw her children by her side. 

Sarah, says a royal source, had been ‘selfless and often left her own family overnight to drive to KP to care for her mother’.

Charles Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley, David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon and Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones attend the wedding of Princess Eugenie of York and Jack Brooksbank at St George’s Chapel on October 12, 2018 in Windsor

Margaret’s death also brought the Queen even closer to her only niece, in her new role as something of a surrogate mother. One, it appears, that endures to this day.

Meanwhile her brother David is also said to be ‘very, very close to the Queen and Prince Charles.’

Linley, now 56, married Serena Stanhope, daughter of the 12th Earl of Harrington, in 1993, and they have two children, Charles, 18, and Margarita, 15. Last year, the couple announced they planned to divorce. 

David, who inherited the title Earl of Snowdon on the death of his father in January 2017, is known as the ‘royal carpenter’ because of his high-end furniture business, Linley.  

He is 21st in line to the throne, has lectured around the world and written books about furniture and styling the home.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones, Prince Philip, David Armstrong-Jones, harles Armstrong-Jones, David Armstrong-Jones, Serena Armstrong-Jones at  Lord Snowdon Service of Thanksgiving, Westminster Abbey, London, in April 2017

He is honorary chairman for Europe, the Middle East, Russia and India of auctioneers Christie’s. He was promoted to the role in 2015 from his former role of chairman of Christie’s UK.

The Earl, also known by his professional name of David Linley, also produces luxury British accessories and has reportedly created the interiors for a number of exclusive central London homes. 

Linley was picked by Prince Charles, his first cousin, as number two in his The Prince’s Foundation, a new merger of his charity commitments, in 2018 – an appointment which raised eyebrows as he was chosen ahead of the heir to the throne’s sons William and Harry.

Last year a friend said: ‘David is very, very close to the Queen and Prince Charles. He goes to Sandringham at Christmas and turns up at Balmoral in the summer.’ 

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