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Princess Margaret dies in her sleep

PRINCESS MARGARET died peacefully today, with her children Lord Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto at her bedside.

PRINCESS MARGARET died peacefully today, with her children Lord Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto at her bedside.

She died in her sleep at the King Edward VII Hospital, London

Princess Margaret (158)

Buckingham Palace announced the news in a statement from the Queen which read: "Her beloved sister, Princess Margaret, died peacefully in her sleep this morning at 6.30am

The Princess's death is a sad start to the Queen's Golden Jubilee year which began this week.

The statement continued: "Her children, Lord Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto, were at her side.

"Princess Margaret suffered a further stroke yesterday afternoon.

"She developed cardiac problems during the night and was taken from Kensington Palace to the King Edward VII Hospital at 2.30am.

"Lord Linley and Lady Sarah were with her and the Queen was kept fully informed throughout the night.

"Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and other members of the Royal Family are being informed."

Princess Margaret, 71, suffered at least two previous strokes in recent years.

She was last seen in public before Christmas at Princess Alice, the Dowager Duchess of Gloucester's 100th birthday party.

Margaret was confined to a wheelchair and wore heavy dark glasses, her sight having been affected by a stroke.

Margaret's face also appeared puffy, probably the effects of medication.

The Queen yesterday left Sandringham, her Norfolk estate, and travelled to Windsor where she remained in touch with developments.

The 101-year-old Queen Mother, who is recovering from a persistent chesty cold, stayed on at Sandringham House.

The royal death will cast a shadow over the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

On Wednesday, Accession Day, the Queen marked the 50th anniversary of her coming to the throne.

A nationwide tour and a full programme of Jubilee celebrations is planned for later in the year.

Later this month, on February 18, the Queen is due to start a visit to Jamaica, New Zealand and Australia.

Speaking on his plane on his way to Sierra Leone today, the Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "I'm deeply saddened to hear of the death of Princess Margaret.

"My thoughts are with the Queen, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and the rest of the Royal Family at this time."



David Holmes
Chief News Reporter
David Norbury
Mike Fuller
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