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Sunday, April 11, 1999 Published at 02:46 GMT 03:46 UK


Princess Margaret recovering after scalding accident

Princess Margaret: Suffered mild stroke last year

Princess Margaret is recovering at Windsor Castle after scalding her feet while on holiday according to Buckingham Palace.

Nicholas Witchell: "The fact that she is still receiving treatment indicates these were not minor injuries"
The announcement follows a report in a newspaper which claimed the Queen's younger sister was seriously ill.

The article in the Sunday People said Princess Margaret was desperately ill after a horrific accident, was bedridden and needing 24-hour medical care.

However, Nicholas Witchell, the BBC's Royal Correspondent, dismissed the report and said Buckingham Palace had told him the paper had overstated the situation.

The Buckingham Palace spokesman said the princess was in "good spirits" and had been told by her doctors to rest following the accident on the Caribbean island of Mustique.

Burns responding to treatment

The 68-year-old princess, who suffered a mild stroke in February while holidaying on the island last year, was scalded as she was getting into a bath.

The palace spokesman said: "Princess Margaret scalded her feet in an accident on holiday in Mustique a few weeks ago."

He said she was getting some nursing care, helping her change her dressings

He added that the burns are responding to treatment and she is in good spirits.

"She was seen by a local doctor in Mustique, and came back to London a week after the accident. She is now recuperating at Windsor, but these things do take some time to heal."

Princess Margaret has been dogged by ill-health in recent years.

She was admitted to hospital in January 1985 for an operation when part of her lung was removed.

Suffered nervous breakdown

The section was said to be "innocent", or non-malignant, but it was the first of a series of warnings about her deteriorating health.

Despite the scare, an attempt to give up smoking after the operation failed and she was back on cigarettes within a few months, although she cut down from 60 a day to 30.

She was able to continue her work as a member of the Royal Family following surgery.

In 1974 she suffered a nervous breakdown just two years before her marriage to photographer Lord Snowdon came to an end. They had been together for 16 years.

In May 1992 she had to cancel several days of engagements with a "feverish cold", and in late November with a "feverish infection".

Despite the illness, she managed to attend the wedding of the Princess Royal and Commander Tim Laurence in Scotland in December 1992.

On January 3, 1993, Princess Margaret was admitted to the King Edward VII Hospital, London, with pneumonia. She was reportedly taken ill while staying with friends outside London.

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