During the Royal Family's tour of South Africa in 1947 it was noticed that Townsend could be quite sharp with Princess Margaret, whom he still evidently regarded as little more than a privileged schoolgirl.
The attraction was mutual, and Townsend remained in royal service for nine years.
After only three years he was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, after six he was promoted Deputy Master of the Household, and on the death of the King in 1952 he moved to Clarence House for a brief spell as Comptroller to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
And the Government is worried about surgeries closing early and facilities failing to advertise the availability of extended hours appointments, which was also a policy of the Cameron government.
The British Medical Association also hit back angrily on Friday night, accusing ministers of trying to "scapegoat" doctors rather than address the funding crisis in the NHS.
"This is not the time to deflect blame or scapegoat overstretched GP services, when the fundamental cause of this crisis is that funding is not keeping up with demand.
"The Government should take responsibility for a crisis of its own making and outline an emergency plan to get to grips with the underlying cause, which is the chronic under-resourcing of the NHS and social care." And Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairwoman of the Royal College of GPs, said the Prime Minister's intervention was “extremely unfortunate” and the plans were “misguided”.The report said: “The Department [of Health] and NHS England have not fully considered the consequences and cost-effectiveness of their commitment to extend access.“We have not seen evidence that the Department and NHS England fully understand the effect of this commitment to extend hours on continuity of care or other arrangements for providing general medical services outside of core hours.On his first day at Buckingham Palace, Townsend had met the 13-year-old Princess Margaret (he was 29), and it was anything but love at first sight.He had been married two and a half years, and became the father of two sons (one of whom was later a monk) before his marriage ended in divorce.It was unfortunate for two reasons: far from behaving in a scandalous manner himself Townsend displayed, throughout the drama, impeccable decorum; and, besides, he deserved to be remembered as first and foremost a hero of the Second World War.