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Princess Margaret Undergoes Lung Operation

January 7, 1985 GMT

LONDON (AP) _ Doctor’s removed a small part of Princess Margaret’s left lung, her office said Monday, and the hospital said the 54-year-old sister of Queen Elizabeth II was in satisfactory condition.

Officials refused to give details of the operation at west London’s Brompton Hospital or say what prompted it. Doctors said the segment of the lung removed in the surgery Sunday was ″innocent″ but would not elaborate.

London Standard newspaper, quoting unidentified hospital sources, said the term ″innocent″ was understood to mean non-malignant.


″The queen is very pleased at the satisfactory outcome,″ Buckingham Palace said in a statement, and Margaret’s ex-husband, photographer Lord Snowdon, told reporters he was relieved.

Their children Viscount Linley, 23, and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, 20, were on vacation in Venice when Margaret was hospitalized and were returning on schedule Monday night, officials said.

Margaret is one of the few members of the royal family who smokes, and she does so on official engagements.

Burke’s Peerage genealogist Harold Brooks-Baker said other members of princess’ family, worried by history of smoking-related diseases in the House of Windsor, have repeatedly urged her to quit.

King George VI, father of Margaret and her elder sister the queen, had lung cancer and died at the age of 56.

An official statement after the surgery, signed by the queen’s physician Dr. John Batten, and senior hospital surgeon Dr. Matthias Paneth, 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.″

Margaret was admitted Saturday afternoon to a private suite at Brompton Hospital, which specializes in treating heart and lung diseases.

Snowdon told reporters at his London home Monday, ″I am very relieved that everything went all right and that it was not something serious.″

Brooks-Baker said the royal family fears smoking because they believed that, in addition to George VI’s early death in 1952, smoking also shortened the lives of two of his brothers, the Duke of Windsor and the Duke of Gloucester.

Brooks-Baker said the queen, who smoked about five cigarettes a day as a young woman, was persuaded by her husband Prince Philip to give up smoking altogether.

Since she was a teen-ager, Margaret has been photographed at parties smoking.British popular newspapers reported Monday that the princess has not touched alcohol since suffering hepatitis last summer and that her cigarette consumption has stepped up to 40-a-day.