The UK was a nation in grief on Saturday following the death of Princess Margaret.

A notice announcing Princess Margaret's passing was posted on the gates of Buckingham Palace where a steady stream of well-wishers, many bearing bouquets of flowers, gathered. Others learnt of the royal death only upon their arrival at the Palace.

At Saturday mornings traditional Trooping Of The Colour, members of the Household Cavalry bore black arm bands. And, for only the second time in history, the Union flag fluttered at half mast over the Palace. The first occasion was in 1997 when the death of another royal rebel, Princess Diana, prompted the Queen to break with royal protocol to request the flag be lowered.

The Union flag flies over the Palace whenever the Queen, who is currently at Windsor Castle, is not in London. When the monarch is in residence the flagpole is topped by the red and gold Royal Standard, symbolic of the continuity of the monarchy. The Standard is never flown at half-mast, not even upon the death of a sovereign.

Margaret's fatal stroke will inevitably cast a shadow over the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations which include a nationwide tour. Buckingham Palace has announced, however, that the monarch's upcoming trip to Jamaica, Australia and New Zealand, due to begin on February 18, will go ahead as scheduled.

Dunya sosyetesinin goz bebegiydi genclik yillarinda.
Ill health
Princess Margaret was dogged by ill health, even before her first stroke in 1998. In 1974 she suffered a nervous breakdown, and there were even rumours of an overdose. "It was not a serious attempt on her life, more a cry for help," one friend recalled.

Her health problems continued. For years she suffered from devastating migraines, although she often carrying on with official duties despite the pain. Then, after her divorce from Snowdon in 1978, the Princess was hit by a succession of illnesses, including gastroenteritis, mild hepatitis and a recurrence of the viral pneumonia that had struck her down in 1973.

Although Margaret recovered, and attended over 100 engagements in 1982, in January 1985 she was back in hospital after a shadow was found on her left lung. It was feared she had lung cancer, the condition which killed her father who, like his daughter, had been a heavy smoker. Fortunately, analysis of a small section of her lung proved otherwise.

But the most serious problems of all were the numerous strokes she suffered during the remaining years of her life, and to which she eventually succumbed on February 9, 2002.

Marriage to Tony
Just five months older than the Princess, Anthony Armstrong-Jones had already started to make a name for himself as a photographer when he and Margaret met, and through him she was able to glimpse a little of life beyond the royal boundaries, without endangering her status. His artistic, sometimes zany way of living thrilled her. They rode through London together on his motorbike and enjoyed romantic suppers in his one-room studio overlooking the river in the East End.

Margaret and Tony married in 1960 and became the monarchy's contribution to the Swinging Sixties. Their friends included designer Mary Quant, Vidal Sassoon, Edna O'Brien, Peter Sellers and his wife Britt Ekland, and Nanette Newman and her husband, filmmaker Bryan Forbes.

The marriage produced two children, David and Sarah, but did not last. Both Margaret and Tony were fiercely independent people - he was not content to follow in his wife's footsteps, while she had never had to adjust her life to someone else's. They separated in 1976 after she was photographed in Mustique with a young Welshman, Roddy Llewellyn, and divorced quietly two years later.