How her grandson cheered the ailing Princess

Princess Margaret's spirits were boosted in the last few days of her life when she attended her three-year-old grandson's birthday party and found herself surrounded by playing children.

The ailing Princess returned home from the London party of Arthur, Lady Sarah Chatto's second son, with a helium balloon tied to her wheelchair.

Friends said being with the youngsters, four days before her death, had proved a great tonic for her.

In her final weeks, the Princess was blind and could not walk, rendering her bedridden for most of the time.

Lady Glenconner, Princess Margaret's former Lady-in-Waiting and close friend, told PA News: "One could not have really wanted her to have gone on.

"Her quality of life was not good. She could not see to read, she could not walk and was bedridden."

The last time Lady Glenconner saw her was on Wednesday, when she dropped round for tea and found her listening to a Dickens talking book, the Pickwick Papers.

"I came in and she had a talking book on. I sat quietly and listened, until it had finished, and then the tea came in.

"I said, 'Ma'am, you must be sad today', because it was the anniversary of the King's death, and we talked about that.

"I had some letters to read out to her, and she gradually began to cheer up. She had a balloon tied to her wheelchair, and I asked whether she had been having a party."

Lady Glenconner said the Princess told her she had attended the birthday party the day before of her grandson, Lady Sarah's son Arthur, who was three.

"She said she had enjoyed it very much, and I think she must have enjoyed being surrounded by children, watching them all play. She was very much boosted by seeing her grandson."

Lady Glenconner stayed for a few hours before leaving the Princess.

"She had cheered up tremendously by the time I left. She was blowing kisses to me as I went, and said she would see me on Friday.

"That was the last time I saw her," said Lady Glenconner in a faltering voice.

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