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Friday, 15 February, 2002, 16:01 GMT
Service hand-crafted by Margaret
Margaret's coffin
The princess's coffin at rest in St George's Chapel
Princess Margaret carefully crafted her own moving funeral service.

A deeply religious woman, she is known to have taken great care in choosing the music and readings for the very private occasion.

It seemed apt that as a great ballet fan, music from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake should fill the chapel as her 450 family and friends arrived.

Before the service, the chapel's organist also played the Prelude by William Harris and the First Movement from Brahms' Second Symphony.

Psalm 23

More than 30 Royals were conducted to their VIP seats in the quire by the Queen's gentlemen ushers and by lay stewards.

Officiating were the Dean of Windsor, the Rt Rev David Conner, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey.

The choir - men and boys from St George's School - sang: "I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die..."

The congregation remained standing as the choir sang Psalm 23: The Lord Is My Shepherd.

We remember before thee this day thy servant Margaret, rendering thanks to thee

Rev Canon Barry Thompson

The princess's son, Lord Linley, read the Lesson from Romans 8 which was followed by the hymn Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.

Canon-in-residence, the Rev Canon Barry Thompson, then said a prayer for the princess.

"O eternal God, we remember before thee this day thy servant Margaret, rendering thanks to thee: for her loyalty and sense of duty; for her faithfulness towards her family and her friends; for her energy and enthusiasm; for her quick wit and sound advice; for her depth of knowledge and her love of life..."

The congregation sang the second hymn When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.


The Dean of Windsor then commended the princess's soul and the Archbishop of Canterbury concluded the service with the final blessing.

Trumpeters of the Hussars and Light Dragoons sounded The Last Post and then Reveille.

A piper of the Royal Highland Fusiliers played a lament - The Desperate Struggle of the Bird - chosen by her daughter Lady Sarah Chatto as the coffin was carried to the waiting hearse outside.

The princess's friends filed through the chapel's south door to a stirring organ recital of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor.

See also:

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12 Feb 02 | UK
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