Motion of Condolence

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 12:03 pm on 13th February 2002.

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Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party 12:03 pm, 13th February 2002

On behalf of the Scottish National Party, I associate myself with the motion moved by the First Minister and extend our sympathy to the royal family on the death of Princess Margaret.

The death of any individual brings enormous sadness for those who are left to mourn. In losing their mother, the princess's children will be enduring that sadness and we think of them today. No parent expects to lose a child, and that pain is probably the hardest to bear. We offer the Queen Mother our support in the pain that she must be suffering.

Many tributes have been paid to the princess since her death on Saturday. I was most struck by the words of the Prince of Wales, who said:

"She loved life and lived it to the full, and for that we will always remember her."

Living life to the full is much to be admired. It imprints us indelibly in the affections and memories of our friends.

Princess Margaret was born in 1930 in Glamis castle, in the constituency that I have the privilege of representing, and her birth was registered at the post office in Glamis. Each summer in her early years, Princess Margaret would visit Glamis and enjoy the Angus countryside. Her visits were interrupted by the onset of war, but they resumed regularly afterwards. The area was very precious to her, so precious that she requested that a special service be held in the chapel at the castle on the day of her funeral. A book of condolence has been opened at Glamis, and yesterday I spoke to Mary, Countess of Strathmore, who told me that many local people and visitors had taken the opportunity to sign the book.

Princess Margaret's interest in Scotland spread far beyond the confines of the county of Angus. For many years she was president of Children 1st, formerly the Royal Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Until recent years she was a very active president, helping to raise funds for the vital work that Children 1st carries out in Scotland on behalf of the people of Scotland. That is just one of the causes for which she campaigned throughout her life, and for which she will be fondly remembered.

I extend my condolences to the Queen and to the royal family, and I associate my party with the motion.