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Saturday, 9 February, 2002, 17:37 GMT
Tributes pour in from across England
The Princess visited the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in 1997
Princess Margaret chats to a nurse in Birmingham
Princess Margaret is remembered across England for her civic and charity work, which she carried out with a smile and genuine interest.

People have expressed widespread sympathy for the Queen and Royal Family at the sad news of the death of the Princess, early on Saturday, at the age of 71.

The Lord Lieutenant of Devon, Eric Dancer, met Princess Margaret on many occasions, and said: "I am very saddened at the news - we have all known she was ill for some time, but it is a great shock.

"My thoughts are with the Queen in this, her Golden Jubilee year, the Queen Mother, and Royal Family.

Flowers are laid outside Sandringham Estate
Flowers are laid outside Sandringham Estate

"I met the Princess on many occasions as she was a frequent visitor to Devon in her role as partron of St John Ambulance.

"She was vibrant and vivacious and thought highly of people doing the charity work of which she was patron."

Princess Margaret was president of Birmingham Royal Ballet for many years.

Keith Longmore, communications director, told BBC News Online: "She had a keen interest in the arts, and ballet in particular - she was very knowledgable.

"She came to see us once a year up until her first stroke and spent time with company members after shows - she gave a great deal of support.

"We are shocked and saddened."

'Modern approach'

In 1997, Princess Margaret opened the Neuroscience Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

The Princess also visted the Princess Margaret Hospital in Swindon.

Hospital spokesman, Chris Birdsall, said: "There will be many people who remember her as a young, vibrant, quite beautiful woman who came to open their local hospital."

A teenage Princess Margaret
Princess Margaret attends a London function

"I think that is the image that many of them will carry for the rest of their lives."

Bishop Robert Ladds of Whitby and York Diocese said the Princess led a colourful life.

He said: "I can remember the various events of her life. She certainly pioneered a more modern approach to the personal life of the Royal Family.

"She came in for a lot of criticism, often uncalled for, for being herself."

Jim, from Essex, a former police bodyguard to the Princess during the 1960s, said: "One night I had to take her to the Libyan Embassy for a big party.

"I was waiting outside when Lord George Brown came out and asked me in for a drink.

"He then took me straight up to Princess Margaret who immediately told me to stay put and then put a glass of whisky in my hand. There is no way I could keep up with her."

'Different people'

Princess Margaret was the president of the children's charity the NSPCC.

Its children's services manager in Barrow, Cumbria, Pat Palmer, met the Princess when she opened the new NSPCC office there in 1995.

She said: "Margaret took her duties very seriously."

She also made a number of visits to the North East. In 1952 she toured the shipyards of Tyneside and later in the decade visited schools and coleges.

The Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, Nigel Sherlock, said: "We are are all very saddened and our thoughts go out to her immediate family."

Lord Craythorne, the Lord Lieutentant of North Yorkshire, said: "The Queen and Princess Margaret were extremely close throughout their lives, and although they were very different people Princess Margaret adored her sister and vice versa.

"It will be a particularly sad day for the Queen."

The Lord Lieutenant of South Yorkshire, the Earl of Scarborough, said: "She was someone who was tremendous fun, highly intelligent, always fun to be with.

"I am extremely sad, she was a very old friend of mine, but she has been ill for some time now."

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Princess Margaret 1930-2002
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