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Sunday, 10 February, 2002, 22:43 GMT
Prayers for Princess Margaret
Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen joined a prayer service in Windsor
The "beauty and creativity" of Princess Margaret was remembered at a church service at Sandringham on Sunday.

The Duke of Edinburgh and around 80 parishioners heard Canon George Hall pay tribute to the princess and her "love of life and all beautiful things" at the 13th Century St Mary Magdalene Church on the Royal Family's Norfolk estate.

Speaking from Senegal, Prime Minister Tony Blair praised the princess's "sense of service" and "enormous" commitment to charity work.

Members of the public have been paying tribute to Margaret at St James's Palace, where books of condolence have been set up.

Princess Margaret died early on Saturday morning aged 71, after a stroke led to heart problems.

Charity


We thank God for the way in which she faced her suffering

Canon George Hall
At the Sandringham service, Canon Hall said: "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."

Anne and Tom Carter, both 54, were among those who travelled to Sandringham for the service to pay their respects.

Mrs Carter said: "I thought the service was fantastic because in many ways it had some special references to it - references to charity."

Private service

Prince Charles left Sandringham after visiting the Queen Mother, who attended a private service at the chapel.

Jason Donovan
Jason Donovan met the princess five years ago
She is said to be determined to be at her daughter's funeral on Friday despite ill health.

The Queen, who broke the news of Princess Margaret's death to the Queen Mother, is at Windsor Castle where prayers were also said.

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

And at Southwark Cathedral muffled bells were ringing as a mark of respect to the Princess.

'Sense of service'

The Prime Minister said Princess Margaret had been very committed to working for the public before she fell into ill health.

He told Sky News: "The thing that people understand about the Royal Family is the sense of service that they have.

"Princess Margaret had it. Before she was ill she did an enormous amount of public service, of charity work."

Mr Blair said his thoughts were with the family adding: "It is a difficult life for them and they have to live in a way that is completely different from other people."

'Great respect'

At St James's Palace in London, Barbara Girelli-Kent was among the first to sign the books of condolence.

Coldstream Guards at St James's Palace
Coldstream Guards at St James's Palace wear black armbands
She remembered the princess as a "trooper", adding: "She 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."

Australian singer and actor Jason Donovan was also among those who signed the books.

Mr Donovan, who met the Princess when he topped the bill at a Children's Royal Variety Show five years ago, said she was a very warm person.

Funeral

At her Kensington Palace home, a group of Brownies from Harlesden, London, laid a bouquet of flowers in memory of her role as president of the Girl Guides Association.

Condolence e-mails can also be sent to the princess's memorial website at www.royal.gov.uk and will be passed to her family.

Princess Margaret's coffin is now at Kensington Palace and will be moved to the Queen's Chapel at St James's Palace before her funeral on Friday at 1500 GMT at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle.

Members of the Royal Family and friends will attend the ceremony, which will not be a state occasion, and a memorial service will be held at a later date.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jennie Bond
"She was remembered with a minute's silence and prayers"
The BBC's Louise Bevan
"At churches around the country, prayers have been said in memory of Princess Margaret"

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Princess Margaret 1930-2002
See also:

10 Feb 02 | Entertainment
10 Feb 02 | N Ireland
10 Feb 02 | Scotland
10 Feb 02 | Wales
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