Tuesday, 9 April, 2002, 19:42 GMT 20:42 UK
Queen Mother is laid to rest
The Royal Family mourning during the funeral service
The Royal Family mourn a remarkable woman
The Queen Mother's coffin has been laid to rest in Windsor alongside her beloved husband King George VI. Senior members of the Royal Family said their final farewells in a private service at St George's Chapel on Tuesday.

It followed a day of national mourning during which more than a million people turned out to pay their respects along the funeral route and many more observed two minutes' silence in the Queen Mother's honour.Queen Mother

Millions silently remembered the Queen Mother across the UK
The Archbishop of Canterbury paid tribute to her gifts of "strength, dignity and laughter" at the funeral service in Westminster Abbey in London.

Dr George Carey told the congregation, and the many thousands listening to broadcasts across the world, that the Queen Mother was like the sun "bathing us in her warm glow".

"We come here to mourn but also to give thanks, to celebrate the person and her life - both filled with such a rich sense of fun and joy and the music of laughter," he said.

The Prince of Wales appeared to be on the brink of tears while the Queen listened intently with her head bowed.

A poem by an unknown author helped set the tone of thanksgiving for the Queen Mother's 101 remarkable years.

You can shed tears that she is gone or you can smile because she has lived

Poem from funeral service

It read: "You can shed tears that she is gone or you can smile because she has lived.

"You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back or you can open your eyes and see all she's left."

Skirl of pipers

The Queen Mother's coffin was taken from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey accompanied by pipers, and borne on the same gun carriage used for her husband George VI's funeral 50 years ago.

Nine senior members of the Royal Family walked behind the coffin in a military procession of impressive pageantry.
Mourners threw flowers as the hearse passed by
Mourners threw flowers as the hearse passed by

Many have done excellently but you exceed them all

Dr George Carey quoting Proverbs






  • More than one million people lined the funeral route
  • Her funeral service was attended by 2,100 guests
  • The Queen Mother will be laid to rest alongside her husband George VI

      Guide to St George's Chapel

    Prince William, 19, and 17-year-old Prince Harry were in the funeral cortege. The Duke of Edinburgh led the royal mourners who also included the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, Viscount Linley, 40, and Peter Phillips, the Princess Royal's 24-year-old son. They passed thousands of ordinary people, many of whom had queued overnight to pay their last respects.

    Bell tolls

    Around the UK, millions observed two minutes' silence at 1130 BST - the moment the Queen Mother's coffin arrived at the abbey. Supermarkets closed their doors, buses and trains were halted, and many offices and schools fell silent.

    Westminster Abbey's Tenor Bell tolled for every year of the Queen Mother's life.

    The Queen says she has been moved by the nation's warmthThe Queen has been moved by the nation's warmth

    Queen Mother's return to Windsor

    The Queen Mother's coffin then began the sad 23-mile journey to Windsor, accompanied by Prince Charles. Hundreds of thousands of people lined the route, many throwing flowers as the black hearse carrying her coffin passed by. The Queen Mother was buried alongside her husband in St George's chapel.

    The ashes of her daughter Princess Margaret, who died in February, were interred at the same time in the Royal Vault.

    Afterwards Prince Charles left en route for one of his grandmother's residences at Birkhall on the Balmoral estate, where he has chosen to spend some time alone in reflection.

    He is expected to spend a week there and to be joined by Camilla Parker Bowles. Other members of the family were expected to resume royal duties on Wednesday.

    The small George VI side chapel at Windsor where the Queen Mother was buried will be open from 1000 BST on Wednesday. Members of the public will be able to pay their final respects before the official period of mourning ends on 19 April.

  • POSTED AT 8:19 AM EDT Globe and Mail Tuesday, April 9

    'We commend Elizabeth, His servant, to God's mercy'

    PhotoPrince Charles salutes on Tuesday as the coffin of his grandmother, the Queen Mother, passes outside Westminster Abbey. Photo: Toby Melville/AP

    Reuters News Agency

    London — Britain bade farewell on Tuesday to its oldest and best loved royal in a funeral celebrating the Queen Mother's "strength, dignity and laughter" through a century of epic change.

    As 400,000 mourners crammed the streets of the capital to mark a life well lived, the bell of Westminster Abbey tolled 101 times for every year of the Queen Mum's tumultuous life.

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    The mood on the street was upbeat; under the stained glass where she wed almost 80 years ago, pomp reigned supreme. Through stately hymns, readings and prayers, the Queen Mother's funeral service on Tuesday was as much a joyous celebration of her life as a solemn farewell.

    The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey, set the tone in his sermon, paying tribute to the royal matriarch's "three great gifts" of strength, dignity and laughter.

    "We come here to mourn but also to give thanks, to celebrate the person and her life — both filled with such a rich sense of fun and joy and the music of laughter," Archbishop Carey told the congregation at Westminster Abbey in central London.

    "With it went an immense vitality that did not fail her. Hers was a great old age, but not a cramped one. She remained young at heart, and the young themselves sensed that."  

    Prince Charles stands vigil on Monday for the Queen Mother as she lies in state at Westminster Hall. Her funeral will be held Tuesday at Westminster Abbey. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP

    Along with music and hymns were two lessons and extended readings from the bible as well as several prayers, including The Lord's Prayer. The Dean of Westminster, Dr. Wesley Carr, delivered a tribute.

    "In gratitude, we bid farewell to a greatly loved Queen ... and for the duty which she rendered unflinchingly to her country, we thank and praise Almighty God," he said. "As we commend Elizabeth, His servant, to God's mercy, let us especially pray for her family in their loss."

    In a service that was meticulously planned in life — and very much with the Queen Mother's personal input — mourners joined in traditional hymns redolent of national and royal history. Pipes and drums, medals and bearskins: This was postcard Britain putting on a show for millions of viewers the world over.

    International royalty came out in force, with kings and queens from no fewer than seven countries attending a funeral that shows Britain can still pull a crowd.

    Canada was represented by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and his wife, Aline. Mr. Chrétien interrupted an extended African tour for a quick sidetrip to London. He is expected to be in Ethiopia by Tuesday evening.

    While the death of Queen Elizabeth's centenarian mother on the Easter weekend surprised nobody, the outpouring of affection in its wake has astonished many. Up to 200,000 mourners witnessed her lying in state, and twice that number crammed the pavements for Friday's grand street procession. A poll released on Tuesday showed that death had brought new popularity to the buffeted House of Windsor.

    "How should we explain the numbers? Not just by the great length of a life, famously lived to the full," said Archbishop Carey, the spiritual head of the world's 70 million Anglicans. "Strength, dignity and laughter: three great gifts which we honour and celebrate today."

    Outside, thousands of Britons had braved a chill night to camp out and grab a front seat for history, an elaborate show of pageantry for a spirited matriarch with a smile that charmed. Gallons of milky tea were poured and impromptu soup kitchens doled out supplies in scenes that conjured up the Blitz spirit the Queen Mum embodied for the War generation.

    The Queen leads members of her family behind the coffin of the Queen Mother as it leaves Westminster Abbey on Tuesday for the last journey to Windsor Castle. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP

    After the service, the coffin embarked on its final journey to Windsor, where "the nation's favourite grandmother" joins her husband George VI, the reluctant, stuttering king propelled to the throne after his brother Edward's shock abdication in 1936.

    The ashes of their younger daughter, Princess Margaret, who died eight weeks ago aged 71, will be interred with them.

    With her trademark quick wit, love of gin and devotion to horse racing, the Queen Mum — who witnessed abdication, world war and family discord — was the nation's best loved royal.

    "It's part of history. She lived an entire century," said Min Lacey, whose Royal Air Force father shot down the German bomber that attacked Buckingham Palace during the Second World War.

    The Queen stands before her mother's coffin during the funeral service at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday. After the service, the Queen Mother was taken to Windsor Castle for interment with her husband, King George VI, in St. George's Chapel. Photo: Ben Curtis/AFP


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