Princess Margaret touched thousands of lives during her visits to the borough over the past few decades. Ahead of tomorrow's funeral service at Windsor, FEMKE VAN IPEREN uncovers some special memories of people who have met her.

Rod Brewster was a photographer and chief photographer for Hendon Times for 30 years. During that time he took pictures of the Princess on visits over the years and remembers particularly her soft manner with children.

"Each time I photographed her, she was absolutely wonderful with the kids," he said. "They were always thrilled to bits to see her."

The Princess sometimes had a prickly relationship with the media and former Times Group picture editor Jim Rowland witnessed that close up when covering a sporting event at Copthall sports ground, when unfortunately she wasn't in the best of health.

"She was very pleasant with people," he said. "There were other Royals who were more aggravated by the press, but she was too and did not perform for the camera."

There were fond memories of the Princess from Betty Gibson, wife of the late Mayor of Barnet Frank Gibson.

"She was different from other people," she said. "I was extremely impressed by how she came and did the job that she came for, to see the children. She was very charming."

Victor Lyon, Conservative councillor for Totteridge, first met the Princess when he was a 16-year-old cadet.

He said: "I met her a few years ago at D Day celebrations at Hyde Park. I actually met her and spoke with her for about five minutes. She was very charming. She struck me very much as the sort of person who undertook anything with great care and feeling and took a great interest. I found her extremely interesting."

Times Group chief photographer Peter Beal, drew a contrast between photographing two royal princesses. "We never really got close to Margaret because of the Royal protocals. She looked at the children very seriously and suddenly would break into a smile and that's when you would take the photograph.

"With Princess Diana everything flowed more easily and it was much more natural."