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Sunday, 29 April, 2001, 11:50 GMT 12:50 UK
Princess suffers vision loss
Princess Margaret leaving hospital
Princess Margaret was released from hospital in January
Princess Margaret has suffered some loss of vision as a result of a series of strokes in recent years, Buckingham Palace has confirmed.

The Queen's 70-year-old sister is said to be devastated by her failing eyesight, which has developed gradually after her recent strokes.

It is believed the princess, who has been virtually house-bound since leaving hospital in January, can see nothing out of one eye while vision in the other eye is said to be seriously impaired.

But doctors have told the princess, who continues her recovery at Kensington Palace, that the loss may only be temporary.

Princess Margaret is continuing her recovery but it will be some time before we know its [the stroke's] full effects

Palace spokeswoman

A palace spokeswoman said earlier: "Princess Margaret is continuing her recovery but it will be some time before we know its [the stroke's] full effects."

Third stroke

It is reported that the Queen has asked to be constantly informed about her sister's condition.

Margaret's eyesight is said to have gradually deteriorated since her most recent stroke in March this year, which had been considered minor.

Buckingham Palace had confirmed that Margaret's left side was affected by that stroke, which was her third suspected attack.

Kensington Palace
Princess Margaret had been recovering at Kensington Palace
The Palace said she was receiving physiotherapy but that it would be some time before the extent of her recovery was known.

Margaret was treated at Kensington Palace, her London home, for the March attack and was not admitted to hospital.

Once a fun-loving, chain-smoking, hard-drinker, the princess is now expected to bow out of public life.

The March attack came just two months after the Queen's sister spent 10 days in hospital following a suspected stroke over Christmas.

The 70-year-old royal had suffered a severe loss of appetite while staying at Sandringham, the Queen's estate in Norfolk, during the holiday period.

She suffered her first stroke in 1998, while holidaying on the Caribbean island of Mustique.

A year later, Margaret suffered serious burns to her feet in a bathroom accident while at her Mustique villa.

Health fears have dogged the princess who had a cancer scare and lung biopsy in 1985. She gave up smoking in 1993 after a bout of pneumonia.

The BBC's Jennie Bond
"This is a new blow to the Princess' already fragile health"
See also:

29 Mar 01 | Health
Princess Margaret: stroke care
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