Motion of Condolence

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 12:00 pm on 13th February 2002.

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Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour 12:00 pm, 13th February 2002

It is with great sadness that we convey our sincere condolences to members of the royal family on the death of Her Royal Highness, the Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. In particular, we express our sympathy to Her Majesty the Queen on the loss of her younger sister; to Her Majesty the Queen Mother on the loss of her beloved daughter; and to Lord Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto on the tragic loss of their mother. Our thoughts are with them at this difficult time and their grief is shared by members of the Parliament and by people across Scotland.

In offering our condolences and sympathy to her family, we also pay tribute to Princess Margaret's contribution to public life in Scotland and offer our gratitude for her particular commitment to working with children and young people.

She remained devoted to the Guide Association, of which she was president, and with which she had a close involvement for over 60 years. She was a patron of Barnardos and its president between 1948 and 1984. One of her earliest appointments in public life was as a patron of the Scottish Children's League; she became its president in 1966. She continued her support for the organisation and became president of the current body, Children 1st. Through her fundraising support, including that for the annual "touch of tartan" ball in Aberdeen, she helped to bring additional resources for the organisation's important work. That is a record of commitment to and support for our children and young people that stretches over a lifetime and that leaves a valuable and lasting legacy.

The princess was also a great supporter of the arts. She was a patron of Scottish Ballet from 1984 and was involved with the Scottish Community Drama Association, among other organisations. Alongside that, she gave her time and energy to health and medical charities: as a patron of the Terence Higgins Trust and Lighthouse, of the Royal College of Nursing, of the Heart Disease and Diabetes Research Trust and of the Princess Margaret Rose hospital here in Edinburgh.

There are many other organisations that I could add to that list, which benefited from and welcomed her support. Through them all, we can see a thread of constant interest and concern in the princess's using her position and efforts to help others and to promote work that is dear to the hearts of people in Scotland and to our values. The affection that we have for her comes not simply from her Scottish heritage, but from that work and lifetime commitment.

She was born at Glamis castle, spent much of her childhood on Deeside and, throughout her life, took a keen interest in Scottish affairs, visiting Scotland many times each year.

Princess Margaret was more than a public figure. She was also a loving mother and grandmother, who was proud of her children and never happier than when surrounded by her family. It is that family who will mourn her most, so it is to them that the people of Scotland send our sympathies. We do so with sadness, but also with thanks for the support and commitment that she offered over the years to many people and organisations and for the contribution that her life made to improving the lives of so many others.

I move,

That the Parliament wishes to express its deep regret and sadness at the death of HRH The Princess Margaret and to convey its sincere condolences to Her Majesty The Queen, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and other members of the Royal Family in their sad bereavement.