07 August 2018

Jewel History: Princess to Spend Quiet Day at Secluded Cottage (1958)

Princess Margaret visits Fort St. John during her tour of Canada, 1958 (Stan Meagher/Express/Getty Images)

"Princess to Spend Quiet Day at Secluded Cottage"
(originally appeared in the Nanaimo Daily News, 8 Aug 1958)

FREDERICTON -- Princess Margaret [1] spends a quiet day in a secluded summer cottage on the St. John River near here today. Her only official appearance will be at the harness racing here tonight.

A cottage named Journey's End about seven miles north of here, owned by contractor Stanley Cassidy, was reported to be the hideaway. Officials would neither confirm nor deny the report.

Wearing the Lotus Flower Tiara, Princess Margaret attends a formal event during her tour of Canada, 1958 (Daily Express/Getty Images)

Thursday night the princess was guest at a banquet given by the Province of New Brunswick and attended by more than 200 persons. Guests included provincial cabinet members, legislature members, judiciary, and armed forces personnel. The dinner climaxed a day that took the princess to seven major appearances.

At the dinner, she was presented with a woollen handwoven skirt by Premier Hugh John Flemming [2] on behalf of the province. An illuminated address of welcome was also presented by the premier. Radiant in a pale blue dress studded with jewels and crowned by a tiara, the princess was accompanied to the dinner by Lieutenant-Governor J. Leonard O'Brien [3].

Princess Margaret disembarks from a Royal Canadian Air Force plane during her tour of Canada, 1958 (Express/Getty Images)

For more than an hour before the dinner began, crowds which followed her on her tour of the New Brunswick capital waited outside and in the hotel lobby in a heavy downpour to catch another glimpse of her.

Other events Thursday included a civic luncheon where Princess Margaret received a bouquet from Donna Shook, a ward of the Fredericton's Children's Home, and a visit to the New Brunswick legislature building, where she signed the government visitor's book.

Princess Margaret pictured on her return to England following her tour of Canada, 1958 (Victor Blackman/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Her most enthusiastic welcome came from more than 2,000 boy scouts, girl guides, brownies, wolf cubs, and St. John Ambulance members. At the University of New Brunswick she made a brief speech thanking them.

She made a brief tour of the New Brunswick Polio Clinic and Health Centre and chatted with children and adult patients. An official said she stopped and talked with all 55 patients. Two photographers were allowed to enter the building, but reporters were barred.


1. Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930-2002) was the younger daughter of King George VI and the sister of Queen Elizabeth II. In 1958, a few years after the end of her star-crossed affair with Group Captain Peter Townsend, Margaret embarked on a romance with a society photographer, Antony Armstrong-Jones. The couple married in 1960.

2. Hugh John Flemming (1899-1982) was the 24th Premier of New Brunswick. He also later served as Canada's Minister of Forestry.

3. Joseph Leonard O'Brien (1895-1973) was appointed the 21st Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick in 1958, a post he held until 1965.