Buckingham Palace dismissed as "scaremongering" a British Sunday newspaper report saying an ailing Princess Margaret was preparing for a possible withdrawal from public life.

A palace spokeswoman said Queen Elizabeth's younger sister, who suffered a stroke in February, would not on medical advice undertake any public engagements until the end of June when the state of her health would be reviewed.But the 67-year-old princess had fulfilled a number of private engagements, including a recent Windsor Castle reception, and would attend the Chelsea Flower Show in London on Monday in a private capacity, the spokeswoman said.

"Her health is progressing. Any speculation outside that is not welcome, and neither are some of the things the Times has been saying accurate. What the Times has written is actually scaremongering," she said.

The Sunday Times report said Margaret "may retire completely in the summer. Some close friends believe she may never recover fully" from the stroke she suffered while on holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique, the paper said.

It said Margaret had already declined invitations to some engagements in the autumn and it quoted sources as saying this was because of her "slow recovery" from the stroke.

Though doctors described the February stroke as mild, the princess has a history of poor health. A lover of the high life, she is believed to have quit smoking several years ago on medical advice and is also said to have moderated her drinking.