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Helena Bonham Carter portrays an older Princess Margaret in The Crown seasons three and four, taking over from Vanessa Kirby who played the Princess in the first two series. Episode seven of the latest series sees Margaret experience a terrifying health scare amid mental health problems and viewers are wondering if Princess Margaret died of the same illness as her father. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
Did Princess Margaret die of the same illness her father had?
At the beginning of episode seven of The Crown, Princess Margaret is coughing up blood, mirroring the same scene experienced by her father, King George VI (played by Jared Harris) in season one of The Crown.
Princess Margaret is believed to have smoked up to 60 cigarettes a day, cutting down to 30 following her first health scare.
The late Princes is understood to have quit completely by 1991.
In the episode, Margaret then undergoes surgery which at the time became headline news across the world.
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Margaret and the palace did not disclose what the surgery was for, but it later emerged it was a biopsy to test for cancer.
In an official statement released after the surgery, doctors said: “Princess Margaret underwent an operation at the Brompton Hospital yesterday for the removal of a small area of her left lung which proved to be innocent.
“Her condition is satisfactory and it’s expected that she will leave hospital within the week.”
In January 1985, doctors at London’s Brompton Hosptial had removed a small part of the Princess’s left lung. She was 54-years-old at the time of the operation.
Her father King George was a heavy smoker all of his life.
He developed lung cancer and other ailments, including arteriosclerosis and Buerger’s disease.
In September 1951, he had his entire left lung removed after a tumour was found.
Margaret’s biographer Christopher Warwick wrote of the surgery in A Life of Contrasts: “It looked as if history was about to repeat itself.
“It was certainly true that the spectre of her father’s final illness, and his operation at much the same age for the removal of a cancerous left lung, was uppermost in many people’s minds.”
George died on February 6, 1952, during the night of a heart attack at Sandringham House in Norfolk.
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Despite the eerie similarities of their health problems, Margaret did not die of the same illness as her father.
She was also never diagnosed with any form of cancer during her lifetime, unlike her father who battled lung cancer.
Margaret faced ill health throughout the 1990s enduring a bout of pneumonia, depression and several minor strokes.
She suffered her first major stroke in 1998 while on holiday on the West Indian island of Mustique and had at least three strokes between 1998 and 2001.
Margaret died of a final stroke on February 9, 2002. Like her father, she died in her sleep at King Edward VII’s Hosptial.
She was 71-years-old at the time of her death and died three days after the 50th anniversary of her father’s death.
Her funeral took place on February 15, 2002, 50 years to the day after the funeral of her father in the exact same location, St. George’s Chapel in Windsor.
Margaret was survived by her two children Lord Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto, who were both at her bedside when she died.
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