How Princess Margaret Is Responsible For Our Daily Horoscopes And Star Signs

If you care about star signs, you have her to thank.

Princess Margaret

by Guy Pewsey |
Updated on

Few topics are more divisive than the concept of horoscopes. Some people believe wholeheartedly that the time of their birth - and its relation to celestial activity - can dictate things like character traits, relationship compatibility and even the future. Others think it's a pile of rubbish. But whatever you think, we're fascinated by the origins of horoscopes. Did you know that we have Princess Margaret to thank for it all?

On August 21, 1930, Princess Margaret was born, the younger sister of the girl who would become Queen Elizabeth II. Her parents were then the Duke and Duchess of York, unaware that they would eventually become King and Queen thanks to an oh-so-tiny constitutional crisis that formed the crux off the drama shown in series one of The Crown. But before that kicked off, Margaret's birth was covered in newspapers across the world. Details were scarce, and editors weren't sure how to best report the news.

Princess Margaret

Enter John Gordon, editor of The Sunday Express. He had an idea: recruit astrologer William Warner - known as 'Cheiro' - to predict Margaret's future. Unfortunately Cheiro was busy, but his assistant Richard Harold Naylor agreed to come up with an article. The result set the stage for the horoscopes millions of people read every day.

On August 24, the newspaper printed 'What The Stars Foretell For The New Princess'. Richard predicted an 'eventful life' for Margaret, saying that 'events of tremendous importance to the Royal Family and the nation will come about near her seventh year.' Indeed, when Margaret was six, her uncle Edward abdicated, making her father King George VI and pushing her up the ladder of succession. A few months after Margaret's birth, Richard was pushed for further predictions.

'A British aircraft will be in danger between October 8 and 15', he offered. He was almost right: on October 5, a British plan crashed near Paris, killing 48 people.

That was enough to solidify Richard's status has a gifted fortune teller. He was swiftly commissioned to offer weekly fortunes in a column titled 'What The Stars Foretell'. Originally, he made his predictions via birth dates, before coming up with a new system: he divided people into groups depending on the twelve 30 degrees sectors of the ecliptic - the path in the Earth's sky that the Sun follows over the path of the year. And so, horoscopes were born, with different details provided for the twelve groups: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces.

Fate? Or fiction? It is, at least, fascinating. Thanks Princess Margaret.

READ MORE: Everything You Need To Know About The Crown Season 4

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