BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Saturday, 9 February, 2002, 14:11 GMT
Biographer's tribute to 'colourful' princess
Margaret and Queen Mother
Margaret was always at the heart of the Royal Family
Princess Margaret's authorised biographer, Christopher Warwick, who knew her well for many years, reflects on her life.

I hope Princess Margaret will be remembered as a very colourful, dedicated member of the Royal Family, one who helped to bring the institution of monarchy into the late 20th century by the events which occurred in her own life.

I would like people to remember that these events were lived out very publicly - the loves in her life, the whole Townsend business, the disintegration of her marriage, her relationship with Roddy Llewellyn.

Unlike the rest of us who can live out the emotional side of our lives most often in private, Princess Margaret was never able to do that.

Margaret
Princess Margaret: Had to live her life in public

I would like people to remember that Royalty hurt, just like the rest of us - and it is even more difficult when they live very public lives as she had to.

She was a lady of enormous dignity, a very particular and very rare sort of person - and I hope it is that for which people will remember her.

She had her detractors who will pour scorn on what I am saying, but her detractors, by and large, did not know her as I did.

The princess was always very much at the heart of the Royal Family.

Close siblings

She was, after all, the daughter of a King and the sister of a Queen and it would have been very remarkable if there had been any reason for her to be shunted into the sidelines.

The Queen and Princess Margaret were always exceptionally close to one another and the Queen has lost her only sibling, just three days after the 50th anniversary of her father's death.

The Queen and Princess Margaret
The Queen and Princess Margaret were always exceptionally close

The Queen has a 101-year-old mother who is very frail, and not in the very best of health at the moment - though she is getting better - so you can only imagine the Queen's fears and devastation.

I am reminded of when Queen Mary - the present Queen and Princess Margaret's grandmother, died in March 1953.

That was a little less than three months from the coronation of the present Queen, and she said before she died: "If I should go, don't let it interrupt the coronation, don't postpone the coronation."

And I think Princess Margaret's own sentiments to her sister, had she been able to give any, were: "Don't let it cloud the jubilee."

Taken aback

An interesting thing about Princess Margaret was that she was a very self-effacing individual - though a lot of people might find that hard to believe.

Last year, when she was not well she was absolutely taken aback by the number of people that wrote to her.

As the mailbags arrived at Kensington Palace, full of good wishes for her, she was very touched, very taken aback, surprised and appreciative.

From that perspective, she would not want her passing to overshadow or alter the arrangements for the golden jubilee in any way.


Key stories

Funeral

Reaction

TALKING POINT

Princess Margaret 1930-2002
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes