On 12 October Townsend returned from Brussels as Margaret's suitor. The royal family devised a system in which it did not host Townsend, but he and Margaret formally courted each other at dinner parties hosted by friends such as Mark Bonham Carter. A Gallup poll found that 59% of Britons approved of their marrying, with 17% opposed. Women in the East End of London shouted "Go on, Marg, do what you want" at the princess. Although the couple was never seen together in public during this time, the general consensus was that they would marry. Crowds waited outside Clarence House, and a global audience read daily updates and rumors on newspaper front pages.
Margaret may have told Townsend as early as 12 October that governmental and familial opposition to their marriage had not changed; it is possible that neither they nor the Queen fully understood until that year how difficult the 1772 Act made a royal marriage without the monarch's permission.