Princess Margaret appears to have ridden out latest storm over her highly publicized affair writh a 31 - year - old part - time landscape gardener.
In a characteristically indirect fashion, Buckingham Palace informed the world yesterday that Margaret,47, will hang on to the pay and privileges she enjoys as a member of the royal family.
The word was handed down through the 'authoritative' voice of the British Press Association's royal court correspondent, who said Margaret will resume her official engagements as soon as she recovers from an influenza attack.
At the same time, palace sources made it clear that Margaret has no intention of giving up her friend, Roddy Llewellyn.
It is likely, however, that the couple now will be caught less frequently by news cameras as they frolic on tropical beaches. Queen Elizabeth is believed to have urged a more discreet course on her younger sister.
The queen is a strait - laced model of a modern Britain monarch who is highly conscious of her family's public appearance. Margaret, who has been with the queen at Windsor Palace for several days, undoubtedly got an earful about the importance of imitating Victoria, not her scapegrace son, Edward VII.
The flap over Margaret began four weeks ago when she took a heavily reported vacation with Llewellyn on the Caribben island of Mustique. When he came down with an ulcer, she chartered a plane to fly him to a hospital, much to the delight of the tabloids.
In fact, their affair has been flourishing for five years. But it has been only recently, after Margaret separated from her husband, Lord Snowdon, that the princess has defied convention by openly flaunting the relationship.
Llewellyn has done well out of it. Most recently, he has recorded songs for a pop album that can expected to sell more on the strength of his notoriety than his talent.
Britons knew it was a gave matter when The Times of London began printing leter discussng Margaret's conduct. The Times' letter page is a national bulletin board for clegymen, ranking civil servants and members of Parliament.
Arden republican like Willie Hamilton, a Labor Party member of Parliament took to the The Times to say that Margaret is 'handsomely rewarded out of public funds.' Therefore, the taxpayers 'are entitled to expect from her higher standards than would be expected or accepted from any other citizen.'
But Lord Dulverton insisted that she deserves 'compassionate under standing rather than persecution' because she had suffered so much private unhappiness. This was a reference not only to Margaret's break up with Snowdon butalsos to her choice 23 years ago to give up Group capt. Peter Townsend. Then as now, Margaret chose to remain a princess a role she would have lost by marrying Townsend, a divorced man.
Even churchmen got into the fight. The Bishop of Truro, GrahanLeonard, said margaret's relationship with Llewellyn is 'foolish.'
'What the nonarchy does,' he insisted, 'affectsociety."
The Bishop of Southwark, Mervyn Stockwood, retorted that Margaret had supported "many good causes in the diocese" and that was far more important than "censuring of her private life."
The church's hierarchy has not involved itself directly in the princess' problems and is generally reluctant to speak out on the private affairs of the royal family.
Britons simultaneously enjoy a bit of royal scandal and want their royals to behave like fairy-tale figures. Stories circulated that the queen had sternly given Margaret a choice, public life or Roddy. None of these yards were confirmed and it now appears that Margaret will keep both.
Apart from the courtesies she seems to enjoy, Princess Margaret gets a handsome yearly expense allownace of $103,000. All the royal family together gets about $4.25 million form the taxpayers, but this is a small fraction of the queen's total income, most of fwhich flows from her 'private' untaxed holdings.
By chance, the civil list, as the expense allowance is known is due to be raised on Friday. An increase of nearly 10 percent to match the rise in prices is expected.
Whether Margaret will share in this is a question, however. It will be decided by, among others, Prime Minister James Callanghan.
He was at Windsor Castle, too, last night for his weekly meeting the queen - 'therapy from a sympathetic woman for an harassed middle-aged man," as these sessions were once described. Callaghan and the queen probably discussed Margaret just like the rest of the country.
But what they said will probably never be known, even in Callaghan's memoirs. The royal mystique forbids any report of the queen's private words.