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Saturday, 9 February, 2002, 11:50 GMT
Princess remembered in north Wales
Princess Margaret
Princess Margaret had visited north Wales many times
Tributes have been pouring in from north Wales residents for Princess Margaret, who died "peacefully in her sleep" at the age of 71 following a stroke.

The Queen's younger sister had long running connections with the region and her death has been met with sadness on the streets of Wrexham.


What I remember about her is the fact that she wasn't really allowed to marry the person she wanted to

John Henson, Wrexham shopper

Audrey Williams from Coedpoeth said the news was upsetting: "I'm very shocked about it.

"She was a very fun loving person, she enjoyed life, and I'm very sad."

Princess Margaret's relationship with Wales was sealed in 1960 when she married the son of an eminent Welsh barrister - Antony Armstrong-Jones.

Audrey Williams
Audrey Williams: "I'm shocked"

Her new husband was given the title of Earl Snowdon in recognition of his roots in north Wales.

He had been a regular visitor to the family seat Plas Dinas in Bontnewydd near Caernarfon and the match was greeted with great excitement.

The Princess married Armstrong-Jones in Westminster Abbey after she gave up her first love - the divorced Peter Townsend, in the name of duty.

Wrexham shopper John Henson believes her life could have been different if she had been allowed to marry the Group Captain.

Frequent visitor

"What I remember about her is the fact that she wasn't really allowed to marry the person she wanted to," he said.

He added: "I felt that was really sad, and a mistake on behalf of those people who made the decision for her."

"I think she'll be missed because she was a bit of a rebel."

Princess Margaret forged further links with the region during the 1960s and became a frequent visitor.

Darina Gaffin
Ms Gaffin:She should have married Peter Townsend

She was a guest at major events including the Eisteddfod.

In the early 70s Princess Margaret and her husband returned to north Wales.

This time at a slate mine, in public they were united, but in private the marriage was disintegrating and by 1976 they were living separate lives.

Darina Gaffin, a teacher from Llangollen said the Princess had never been allowed to reach her own decisions.

"I think it's very sad, I'm sorry for the woman," she said.

Ms Gaffin added: "Perhaps if the Queen had let her marry her first choice things might have been different for her."

Princess Margaret's children, Lord David Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto were at her side at the London hospital where she died.

The Queen has returned to her official London residence of Buckingham Palace, where the union flag is flying at half-mast.

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Shoppers in Wrexham
Shoppers give their reaction to Princess Margaret's death

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09 Feb 02 | UK
09 Feb 02 | UK
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