Motion of Condolence

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 12:08 pm on 13th February 2002.

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Photo of Jim Wallace Jim Wallace Liberal Democrat 12:08 pm, 13th February 2002

On behalf of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, I join the other party leaders in supporting the motion moved by the First Minister, in paying tribute to Princess Margaret and in expressing condolences to her family at this sad time of bereavement.

Much has been said regarding the princess's birth at Glamis—the first royal birth in Scotland since the 17th century. Princess Margaret's birth was also noteworthy for being the last royal birth at which the Home Secretary was required to be present.

Princess Margaret had an affinity with the land of her birth. She came here not only on official duties, but on private visits, often to undertake engagements at local charitable events. She was the colonel-in-chief of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, known as Princess Margaret's Own Glasgow and Ayrshire Regiment. I recall listening to her "Desert Island Discs" broadcast, in which her record selection included "Scotland the Brave". She chose that tune especially because of the positive thoughts and memories that it evoked.

Hers was a royal life, and so a life committed to public duty. She was a lady with a lively intellect who supported and encouraged the arts, not least Scottish Ballet and the Royal Ballet. We have already heard about the many charitable organisations to which she devoted so much time and energy. It is proper that we highlight the work that she did to help children, particularly vulnerable children and abused young people. It is striking that in recent days those involved in the charities with which the princess was associated have spoken warmly of her interest and encouragement.

Princess Margaret was a royal princess, but she was also a mother, grandmother, sister and daughter. For that reason, we hold the Queen, the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret's children—Lord Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto—in our thoughts and prayers and extend to them our deepest sympathy. We remember with gratitude a life that reflected a commitment to the service of others and to duty nobly fulfilled.