Born on January 15, 1882 at Bagshot Park, Margaret was the eldest of the three children of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught (third son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert) and Princess Louise Margaret of Prussia. She grew up at her parents’ homes at Bagshot Park and Clarence House and was known in the family as Daisy. Margaret had a younger brother and sister:
- Prince Arthur of Connaught (January 13, 1883 – September 12, 1938), married 1913 Princess Alexandra, Duchess of Fife; had issue
- Princess Patricia of Connaught (March 17, 1886 – January 12, 1974), married 1919 Captain Sir Alexander Ramsay; had issue
Margaret was christened on March 11, 1882 in the Private Chapel at Windsor Castle and given the names Margaret Victoria Augusta Charlotte Norah. She had an impressive set of godparents:
- Queen Victoria (her paternal grandmother)
- Wilhelm I, German Emperor (her maternal great-granduncle)
- Crown Princess Victoria of Prussia, Princess Royal (her paternal aunt)
- Prince Friedrich Karl of Prussia (her maternal grandfather)
- Princess Friedrich Karl of Prussia (her maternal grandmother, born Princess Maria Anna of Anhalt-Dessau)
- Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom (her paternal aunt)
- The Prince of Wales (her paternal uncle, the future King Edward VII)
Along with her sister Patricia, Margaret was known as a great beauty and their uncle King Edward VII expected them to marry a European king or crown prince. In January of 1905, both sisters and their parents visited Portugal where Margaret and Patricia were entertained by the two sons of King Carlos I. The Portuguese expected that one of the sisters would become their future queen. The trip continued to Cairo, where Margaret met and fell in love with Prince Gustaf Adolf of Sweden, Duke of Skåne, who was the eldest son of Crown Prince Gustaf of Sweden. Gustaf Adolf proposed to Margaret at a dinner held at the British Consulate in Egypt, and she accepted. The couple married at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle on June 15, 1905. Margaret was given a tiara from the Khedive of Egypt as a wedding gift as a symbol of the courtship that started there. It is known as the Khedive Tiara, was worn by several of Margaret’s descendants at their weddings, and is now in the possession of her granddaughter Queen Anne-Marie of Greece.
Margaret and Gustaf Adolf had four sons and one daughter:
- Prince Gustaf Adolf, Duke of Västerbotten (April 22, 1906 – January 26, 1947), married Princess Sibylla of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha; had issue including King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
- Prince Sigvard, Duke of Uppland (June 7, 1907 – February 4, 2002) later Count Sigvard Bernadotte af Wisborg, married three times, had one son
- Princess Ingrid (March 28, 1910 – November 7, 2000), married King Frederick IX of Denmark, had issue including Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
- Prince Bertil, Duke of Halland (February 28, 1912 – January 5, 1997), married Lillian Davies, no issue
- Prince Carl Johan, Duke of Dalarna (October 31,1916 – May 5, 2012) later Count Carl Johan, Bernadotte af Wisborg, married two times, no issue, was the last surviving great-grandchild of Queen Victoria
Margaret was eager to learn the Swedish language and history, endearing her to the Swedish public. During World War I in neutral Sweden, Margaret organized supply drives and acted as a go-between for her relatives whose Allied and Axis countries were divided by the war. She was also interested in gardening, taking great care of the gardens at the family home of Sofiero Castle. In 1907, when Gustaf Adolf’s grandfather King Oscar II died and his father then became King Gustaf V, Gustaf Adolf and Margaret became the Crown Prince and Princess of Sweden.
Margaret was eight months pregnant with her sixth child in 1920 when she underwent mastoid surgery. An infection set in, killing Margaret, at the age of 38, and her unborn child on May 1, 1920, her father’s 70th birthday. Her family along with the Swedish and British public mourned her death greatly. Margaret was buried at the Royal Burial Grounds in Haga in Solna, Sweden.
Margaret’s husband married again, in 1923 to Lady Louise Mountbatten, formerly Princess Louise of Battenberg. The couple had no children. In 1950, upon the death of his father, 67-year-old Gustaf Adolf became King. He reigned until his death at age 90 in 1973, having survived both his wives. King Gustaf VI Adolf was succeeded by his and Margaret’s grandson, King Carl XVI Gustaf.