R.I.P.

Princess Margaret

Died February 9th, 2002

LONDON (AP) - Princess Margaret, the high-spirited and unconventional sister of Queen Elizabeth II, died Saturday after a life that echoed with regret and thwarted love. She was 71.

The princess died peacefully in her sleep at King Edward VII Hospital at 6:30 a.m., a statement from Buckingham Palace said.

Margaret suffered a stroke Friday afternoon and developed cardiac problems during the night. She was taken from Kensington Palace to the hospital at 2:30 a.m., the statement said.

"Lord Linley and Lady Sarah were with her and the Queen was kept fully informed throughout the night," the statement said.

A heavy smoker for many years, she has suffered repeated respiratory illnesses and had part of a lung removed in January 1985. She had a mild stroke in February 1998 and another in March 2001.

Margaret was last seen in public before Christmas at Princess Alice, the Dowager Duchess of Gloucester's 100th birthday party. Margaret was confined to a wheelchair and wore heavy dark glasses, her sight having been affected by a stroke.

The queen left Sandringham, her Norfolk estate, Friday and traveled to Windsor where she remained in touch with developments. The 101-year-old Queen Mother Elizabeth, who is recovering from a persistent cold, stayed on at Sandringham.

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