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Princess ‘Wanted to be Catholic’

LONDON (CNS): Princess Margaret, the younger sister of Queen Elizabeth II, had seriously considered becoming a Catholic, a new book says.

Noel Botham, in his book, Margaret: The Last Real Princess, claims that Princess Margaret, who died on February 9 at age 71, did not convert to Catholicism out of a sense of loyalty to her sister.

Princess Margaret was a High Church Anglican and a member of the most pro-Catholic faction of the Church of England.

Mr Botham said Princess Margaret was also a close friend of Derek Jennings, a senior civil servant in the British Government’s Department of the Environment who had converted to Catholicism from the Church of England and who later became a priest.

In his book, published in late February, Mr Botham said Fr Jennings was convinced that Princess Margaret wanted to become a Catholic.

Fr Jennings was a good friend of the late Cardinal George Basil Hume of Westminster. In 1988, he arranged a dinner party at his home in London where Cardinal Hume and Princess Margaret met.

Fr Jennings, who died in 1997, later told a fellow priest that Princess Margaret had described the evening as “one of the most rewarding, fascinating and satisfying nights of her life”.

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