Tags: Public | Queues | Pay | Homage | Princess

Public Queues To Pay Homage To Princess

Sunday, 10 February 2002 12:00 AM

Church services at royal residences in England and Scotland celebrated the remarkably colorful life of the 71-year-old princess, who died in her sleep following the latest in a series of strokes and cardiac complications.

Princess Margaret's children, Lord David Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto, and former husband, Lord Snowdon, were at her bedside at London's private King Edward VII Hospital when she died at 6.30 a.m. on Saturday.

The Union flag remained at half-mast over Buckingham Palace, official London residence of Queen Elizabeth II who was at Windsor, where she attended services for Princess Margaret.

The Queen's husband, Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh, attended services in the 13th century St. Mary Magdalene Church at Sandringham, the royal estate in Norfolk, and the 101-year-old Queen Mother, supported by her grandson Prince Charles, attended a private service in memory of her daughter in a chapel at Sandringham House.

A private service was also held at Glamis Castle in Scotland, where the princess was born.

Tributes to Princess Margaret in church services and the media celebrated her love of life and the arts and commentators pointed out that, despite a failed romance and a short-lived marriage, the princess raised two children and fulfilled duties to the royal household.

Addressing the congregation at St. Mary's Church, Canon George Hall remembered her "love of life and all beautiful things." He said, "We are thanking God for Her Royal Highness, the Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowden, to commend her soul to God's loving care and pray for her family that they may comfort one another and experience the strength of God's love."

Canon Hall added, "We give thanks to God for all that Her Royal Highness means to so many people, for her love, for her family and friends, and for all that she did in the course of duty. We thank God for the way in which she faced her suffering. We thank God for the faith of the Princess."

At St. James's Palace in London, people queued to sign books of condolences that were laid out on tables draped in black cloth.

The mourners went through a security search and then walked down the red-carpeted hallway where they were greeted by ushers.

Barbara Girelli-Kent, one of the first mourners to pay her respects, told news media, "I have great respect for the Royal Family. Princess Margaret was from my era in the 1960s."

She said the princess was "symbolic of correctness, strength of character, and she had a mind of her own but great respect for Her Majesty the Queen and the royal institution. She was a trooper."

The books of condolence are expected to remain open between 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. everyday before a planned private funeral on Friday. A memorial website at www.royal.gov.uk will accept condolence e-mails from the public.

In a tribute to his aunt, Prince Charles praised Princess Margaret as a "vital and free spirit" and suggested that her death after several years of illness might have been a "merciful relief" from the suffering caused by her poor health.

He spoke movingly of his "darling aunt" who entertained him with her piano playing as well as her vitality, beauty and sharp mind.

Princess Margaret's coffin is currently at her former home in Kensington Palace. It will be moved to the Queen's Chapel at St. James's Palace before her funeral on Friday afternoon at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.

Only members of the royal family and close friends are expected to attend the ceremony.

Meanwhile, palace officials said the Queen would continue her royal duties and would go ahead with her tour of Jamaica, New Zealand and Australia on Feb. 18. The tour is one of many the monarch is planning to undertake this year as part of Golden Jubilee celebrations marking her 50 years on the throne.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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Church services at royal residences in England and Scotland celebrated the remarkably colorful life of the 71-year-old princess, who died in her sleep following the latest in a series of strokes and cardiac complications. Princess Margaret's children, Lord David Linley...
Public,Queues,Pay,Homage,Princess
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2002-00-10
Sunday, 10 February 2002 12:00 AM
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