HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (1900-2002)

If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.


Nov 8, 2002
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother


  • a.jpg
    31.2 KB · Views: 7,341
Last edited by a moderator:
Clarence House to open to public

The Queen Mother's former home Clarence House will open to the public this summer for the first time.

The house, near Buckingham Palace, was the Queen Mother's home from 1953 until her death last year.

It is soon to become the London residence of her favourite grandson Prince Charles and his sons Princes William and Harry, who currently live next door in St James's Palace.

Their relatively cramped living space, York House, is expected to be converted into offices.

Clarence House, off The Mall, is undergoing extensive refurbishment and redecoration under the direction of the Prince of Wales's interior designer, Robert Kime.

Grand design

William, who will be 21 in June, and 18-year-old Harry have designed their own rooms.

The taxpayer is paying for an estimated £4.5m structural work on the building, while Prince Charles is footing the bill for other work.

The house will be open to the public from 6 August to 17 October. Visitors will be given a guided tour of five ground-floor rooms where Charles will receive VIPs.

Tickets will cost £5 for adults, and £3 children under 17. Children under five will be admitted free.

Clarence House was built by John Nash between 1825 and 1828 for William, Duke of Clarence, later William IV, who lived there from 1830 until 1837.

It has since been altered and enlarged twice and needed extensive restoration work following bomb damage during World War II.

In 1942 the building became the headquarters of the Red Cross and St John Ambulance Brigade.

Three of its original storeys remain, along with several mantelpieces and ceilings from the early 19th century.

The grand design of Clarence House has made it a favourite home for successive generations of senior royals.

Following its post-war renovation, Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh lived there after their marriage until her accession as Queen Elizabeth II in 1952.


Prince Charles himself lived there until he was three years old.

A year later the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret moved in, although Margaret left when she married Anthony Armstrong-Jones in 1960.

The years that followed saw the Queen Mother move many pieces from her private art collection into Clarence House.

It contains many other memories of her long life and was among the four homes used by her.

In Scotland she was a frequent visitor to Birkhall, on the Balmoral Estate, and also the Castle of Mey in Caithness.

She died at her Windsor residence, the Royal Lodge, on 30 March, 2002.

Article From: BBC News
Charles moves into Queen Mum's home with his boys - and Camilla

PRINCE Charles and longtime companion Camilla Parker Bowles are setting up house – in his beloved grandmother's former home.

The heir to the throne and his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, will move into the late Queen Mother's former home, Clarence House, within the next few months, a spokesman said yesterday.

Mrs Parker Bowles is to have what is coyly called "rooms" in the new set-up, which will replace St James's Palace as Prince Charles's official residence.

The residence is being renovated at a cost of $A13 million – a bill that will be picked up by the British taxpayer.

Prince Charles, though, is believed to have spent some of his own money on parts of the refurbishment.

Prince Charles is believed to have kept much of the atmosphere of Clarence House as a memorial to his grandmother, who died last year.

In fact, the Queen Mother never much liked Clarence House when she first moved into it, but came to call it home. She shared it with Princess Margaret, who also died last year.

Mrs Parker Bowles will not officially live there and will keep her home in Wiltshire.

She has played a part in decorating Clarence House and will have a small suite of offices and an apartment of her own with perhaps a small staff.

But, in practice, she will share Prince Charles's quarters.

There have been consistent reports that Mrs Parker Bowles had been sidelined by the new household running Prince Charles's official life, headed by Sir Michael Peat.

However, she is known to attend all of the prince's diary conferences and remains one of his closest advisers.

There also were reports yesterday that Prince William has opted out of any large public affair for his 21st birthday in June, preferring to delay his entry into public life until he finishes his university course.

For the first time Clarence House will be open to the public this year, from August 6 to October 17.

Article From: The Advertiser

28 APRIL 2003
The Prince of Wales is set to move into the late Queen Mother's estate, Clarence House, in just a few months – and his companion, Camilla Parker Bowles, will apparently be made to feel completely at home there.

Not only is the 55-year-old National Osteoporosis Society president helping redesign the interior of the 19th-century building, she will also have her own private office, according to newspaper reports. It is understood that she will be dividing her time between Clarence House and her home in Lackock, Wilts near Highgrove.

Sources say that Mrs Parker Bowles, who currently splits her time between her home and many of the royal residences, will initially have no formal suite of rooms at Clarence House, and will instead share the Prince's.

The interior design work for the £7-million renovation project – taxpayers will foot the bill for structural work, while the Prince pays for decorating – is under the charge of Robert Knie, who is being helped by Mrs Parker Bowles and the Prince's former valet, Michael Fawcett. Fawcett is now a freelance consultant, having resigned from the royal staff in March after the release of a palace inquiry conducted by Sir Michael Peat.

Article From: Hello Magazine+
Wednesday, April 30, 2003 · Last updated 1:21 a.m. PT

Prince Charles Blasted Over Luxury Life


LONDON -- Prince Charles is being criticized for lavishing millions of taxpayers' dollars on the refurbishment of a London mansion to share with his longtime companion, Camilla Parker Bowles.

Charles, already accused of enjoying such trivial luxuries as servants who squeeze his toothpaste, has spent $7.4 million to redecorate Clarence House, royal officials confirmed. The prince already has an official residence in the capital at St. James's Palace.

"How many palaces does a prince need?" said an editorial in the Guardian newspaper Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for Charles confirmed that the heir to the throne and his two sons, Princes William and Harry, will move into the former home of the late Queen Mother Elizabeth within the next few months, replacing the prince's current official residence.

"There is a lot more space for the family," she said on customary condition of anonymity.

The taxpayer money being used for the upgrade of the house comes from a fund earmarked for the maintenance of occupied royal palaces, and the prince is reportedly spending $3.2 million from his own pocket in the addition to the $7.4 million.

The staunchly monarchist Daily Mail reported that Charles had been frugal in restoration of the building, which has not been redecorated since 1947 - using bronze leaf at "a fifth of the cost" of the alternative gold leaf.

Parts of the 19th-century house will be opened up to the public for the first time when renovations are completed this summer.

But critics said Charles could lose public goodwill with his extravagant lifestyle. The prince also has a large home in rural Gloucestershire and recently acquired another one in Scotland.

"Both a sharper eye and a firmer hand need to be kept on what the prince is up to. Why should the prince acquire another palace in London from the public purse, and have it so expensively done up, when he has got one already? How many palaces is it appropriate for the heir to the throne to maintain at public expense?" the Guardian asked.

Recent news reports have claimed that the prince, who has about 50 personal staff, has bestowed royal warrants - the coats of arms printed on jars of jam and boxes of soap - on companies to get free toiletries.

Royal aides said Parker Bowles would spend a significant amount of time at Clarence House and did not deny reports that rooms would be set aside for her ailing father.

Queen Elizabeth II gave the house to her eldest son following the death of the queen mother in April 2002. It is just minutes from Buckingham Palace, and the move to include Parker Bowles is being seen as further tacit acceptance from the royal household of her relationship with Charles.

Critics, however, say his spending on chauffeured cars and designer clothing for Parker Bowles will not help endear her to the public.

Since she divorced her husband and Charles split with Princess Diana before her death in 1997, his relationship with Parker Bowles has brought criticism, with questions raised about his suitability as the next monarch.

The two now often appear in public together, leading many people to assume they will eventually marry. But polls show the public may not accept Parker Bowles as queen.

Still, Charles has slowly regained popularity, and his obviously warm relationship with his two sons has helped win back much of the favor he had lost in his disputes with the late Diana.

David Nash, who lectures on politics at Oxford-Brookes University, said the British public increasingly wants to see "value for money" from the royal family.

"The argument goes that the cost of the monarchy is only the same as the cost of one Eurofighter" warplane, Nash said. "That may be true, but that does look frightful when the money is being used to have someone squeezing your toothpaste."

Article From:
9 July 2003



The Queen has entrusted the writing of the official biography of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother to Mr William Shawcross.

Mr Shawcross will be given full access to Queen Elizabeth's personal papers, which are held in the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle.

To be released at 15.00 hours BST, Wednesday 9th July, 2003
It's always nice to see little old ladies up and about. However, the Queen Mother seemed to have a bit more healthy vitality to her than Princess Alice. Elizabeth seemed a lot more alert, and happy. I hope Princess Alice lives happily for the resy of her days. :flower:
I suspect the Queen Mum's shallow and mean-spirited attitute might have set the stage for the low opinion in which the British monarchy is held today. It's fitting that Prince Charles was closest to her and is the one to preserve her memory in Clarence House and in the choice of who should write her biography.

It wasn't enough that Edward VIII abdicated and was exiled, Queen Mum had to continue to heap every abuse on him that was within her power. She claimed it was because the pressure of being king was the cause of the relatively early death of her husband, George VI. Yeah, Riiiight.

Diana referred to the royal familly as 'The Firm' and called the good Queen Mum its #1 member. Then the Queen Mum's funeral was marked for the paucity of genuine morners and the news media trying to make something out of nothing. It's comforting to know that sometimes, justice does rear its ugly head, even though this was quickly and quietly smoothed under by 'The Firm'.
Last edited by a moderator:
Sources: IBL and Corbis


  • EN_mum_family_496.jpg
    45.4 KB · Views: 1,159
  • EN_mum_family_497.jpg
    32.1 KB · Views: 1,171
  • EN_mum_family_499.jpg
    40.6 KB · Views: 7,042
  • EN_mum_family_498.jpg
    44 KB · Views: 975
  • EN_mum_family_495.jpg
    40.9 KB · Views: 983
Last edited:
From Corbis. The Queen Mother and her daughters.
The Prince of Wales
QM's funeral
George VI & Queen Elizabeth's tomb in St. George's Chapel, Windsor
HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh arrive for the funeral-


  • DWF15_203607.jpg
    36.1 KB · Views: 1,069
  • DWF15_203686.jpg
    46 KB · Views: 1,093
  • qmvigilcharlesPA410x266.jpg
    23.8 KB · Views: 1,038
  • qm_coffin5PA410x261.jpg
    30.2 KB · Views: 996
  • qm_queencoffin2PA410x319.jpg
    23.2 KB · Views: 1,154
  • qm_friday5PA312x500.jpg
    25 KB · Views: 1,135
  • qmtombPA327x500.jpg
    24.8 KB · Views: 1,430
  • 68a.jpg
    14.7 KB · Views: 6,724
Last edited by a moderator:
TOMMIX  Posted: Oct 25th, 2003 - 10:45 pm

The Prince of Wales-

TOMMIX, I remember about this vigil. Weren't there other Royals who took turns at this vigil ?

Also, there is this thought I have that at one time, there were four Royals each at one of the corners during the vigil ???
TOMMIX  Posted: Oct 25th, 2003 - 10:45 pm

TOMMIX, I remember about this vigil. Weren't there other Royals who took turns at this vigil ?

Also, there is this thought I have that at one time, there were four Royals each at one of the corners during the vigil ???

At the same time the POW was standing vigil, the Queen Mother's other grandsons were standing vigil also. Her other grandsons being, HRH The Duke of York, HRH The Earl of Wessex and David, Viscount Linley.

This photo shows that scene, although you can not see Lord Linley [and to clarify things a bit, there are three Royals and one non-royal, that being Lord Linley. He is a member of the extended Royal family, but Lord Linley is not royal].


  • 49a.jpg
    26.5 KB · Views: 6,823
Yes, four of her relatives stood vigil:

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

I think the fourth member may have been Prince Phillip- for a while, or perhaps Princess Anne's husband...? Prince Michael of Kent?

Does anyone know who the fourth person was? It was a man...I'm sure of that. It may have been Captain Phillips, Prince Phillip, or Prince Michael...
Princess Beatrice of York outside Westminster Abbey.
The King and Queen of Sweden, The King and Queen of Spain, and The King and Queen of Norway at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, Herditary Prince Albert of Monaco, and Prince Ernst of Hannover at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
Hutlon Archives - 4 August 1970 - Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (1900 - 2002) with her grandchildren, Prince Edward (left), Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones and Viscount Linley on her 70th birthday.
Hulton Archives - 4 August 1970 - Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (1900 - 2002) with her grandchildren, Prince Edward (left), Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones and Viscount Linley on her 70th birthday.


  • 266.jpg
    27.7 KB · Views: 1,543
  • 470.jpg
    35.2 KB · Views: 1,236
  • 121.jpg
    29.7 KB · Views: 1,540
  • 23.jpg
    28.9 KB · Views: 2,774
  • 333.jpg
    25.8 KB · Views: 1,502
Last edited by a moderator:

Above, Lady Elizabeth, four, is pictured with her younger brother David, three, with whom she had a very close relationship. One of their brothers, Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon, was killed at the Battle of Loos in France, during World War I. This event did disturb Elizabeth’s quiet life at Glamis Castle: the castle was transformed in a hospital for soldiers and, disturbingly enough, the war began on Lady Elizabeth’s birthday, 4 August 1914.


Above, Aged 14, Lady Elizabeth was a simple countrywoman, although raised in the highest standards of rural aristocracy. Pictured here outside Glamis Castle, by this time she had met her future husband Prince Albert, for regularly the Royal Princes came to Glamis and the Bowes-Lyons were invited at the Court. The picture was taken the year World War I began, bringing to Europe the feared blood that the new weapons could create. Although too young to work as a nurse, Lady Elizabeth did assist some of the soldiers who went through Glamis.


Above, After the wedding ceremony, the couple was escorted in carriage to Buckingham Palace, where they appeared on the balcony to greet the people who had gathered in large numbers. It was undoubtedly due to Queen Mary’s love for pomp and sense of royalty that the British Royal Weddings became the glittering ceremonies that conquered history.


Above, The new Duke and Duchess of York are pictured with their parents. On the left, the Earl and Countess of Strathmore. On the right King George V and Queen Mary. The King’s reign had lasted for 13 years, since his father's death in 1910. The King was extremely popular among his subjects, mainly due to the success of Britain in World War I.

Above, The Duke and Duchess of York are pictured with Queen Mary in Balmoral in 1924, just one year after their wedding. Scotland was always the favourite place of Great Britain for the Queen Mother, given her links to Glamis Castle. Balmoral Castle is a private property of the royal family.


Above, No one by that time thought that the little Princess Elizabeth would become Queen, since the Prince of Wales, future Edward VIII and Duke of Windsor, was extremely popular amongst the people and few doubted that he would be an extremely good king. This picture was made after the baptism of the Princess, who is held by her mother and surrounded by members of the Royal and the Bowes-Lyon families.


Above, The then Duchess of York is pictured with her two daughters Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. It is understood that the relation between the two daughters of the Duke and Duchess of York was always extremely good, having both felt the responsibility which fell on their parents after the abdication of their uncle.


Above, On 12th May 1937, the coronation that had been planned for King Edward VIII took place, but the sovereign to be crowned was another one: George VI, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Emperor of India and sovereign of all other realms overseas. Between the Abdication, in December, and the Coronation, in May, a new crowned had to be made: the one for Queen Elizabeth, made of several thousand diamonds and finished with the shining glory of the Koh-i-Noor, the magnificent and historical Indian diamond.


Above, The ceremony was broadcasted live on BBC Radio and footage was made inside the Abbey for the first time. The crucial moment, the Anointing, was kept, however, out of the sight of the cameras, something that would be repeated in 1953. After the ceremony, the newly crowned King and Queen drove in state through the capital of the Kingdom and the Empire to greet some two million subjects, who would cheer them at the balcony. Nevertheless, most of the country still felt the institution had been harshly damaged by the abdication crisis.


Above, the Queen Mother on the wedding of her eldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth on 20th November, 1947.


Above, The Royal Family on the Wedding of Princess Magaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones on 6th May 1960 .

Above, The Queen Mother is pictured with a corgi outside the Castle of Mey, in the extreme north-east of Scotland, a ruined castle which she took her time for restoring and refurbishing. Perhaps a reminder of her time at Glamis, the Castle of Mey became Her Majesty’s new Scottish home, being a wonderful property where the Queen Mother could enjoy calm life, as she had always wished. Queen Elizabeth used to spend time there in August and October each year.


Above, The Queen Mother was said to be an experienced fisherwoman. On being taken to hospital for the removal of a fishbone from her throat in 1982 she said: “After all these years of fishing, the fish are having their revenge.” Her Majesty’s favourite sport was known to be horseracing, and she would never miss Royal Ascot and other sporting events like the Grand National, which her horse famously lost in 1956.


Above, The Queen Mother is pictured with Prince Charles and Princess Anne soon after the Queen’s accession in 1952. The time Charles and Anne spent with their grandmother while the Queen was travelling developed a very strong relationship between them, especially with Prince Charles. The picture was made in the Royal Lodge, the Queen Mother’s home in Windsor, where she would die, aged 101, in March 2002.


Above, Throughout the grey days of the war years, there was only one family to unite the whole Kingdom – the King and the Queen refused to leave Britain, despite fears that an invasion by Hitler could mean their end. The Queen firmly and famously said, answering to the suggestions that she should leave to Canada with her daughters: “The princesses would never leave without me, and I couldn't leave without the King, and the King will never leave.”

Above, When the war ended, it was with the Royal Family that the people wanted to celebrate. Hundreds of thousands flocked into The Mall and to Buckingham Palace to see their King and the new war-hero, Sir Winston Churchill. Victory came as the final touch to the admiration the British people devoted to their royal family and never again they were so close to the people as in this historic occasion. The Royal Family had to return to the balcony 8 times during the afternoon.


Above, 50 years later, now as Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth came out to the balcony of Buckingham Palace in the culmination of the celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of VE Day. She was accompanied in that historical remembrance day by her daughters, Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. As in 1945, hundreds of thousands filled The Mall and the streets around Buckingham Palace and cheered the three royal ladies on the balcony. The Queen Mother took a very intense part in the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of World War II and she always kept a very direct relation with those who had been involved in both wars.

Above, The impressive funeral cortege of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother goes down The Mall, having Buckingham Palace as backdrop. The long cortege included over 1600 service men from various regiments linked with the Queen Mother, as well as regiments from the Royal Navy, the Royal Marines, the Royal Air Force and the Army. Various regiments from the Commonwealth marched alongside 4 bands and the colourful Scots Guards and the Household Cavalry dismounted. Above Her Majesty’s coffin rested the Queen Consort’s Crown, created for her in 1937, as well as a wreath of white flowers from Her Majesty The Queen with a card reading “In loving memory, Lilibet”.


Above, Up to 400.000 people lined the streets of London, from The Mall until Westminster Hall, to witness the impressive funeral cortege, the biggest military procession since the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965. The Queen Mother’s coffin was taken in the same gun carriage used to take His Majesty King George VI’s coffin from Sandringham House to the Train station near the Royal Estate, on the way to London. It was pulled by six black horses of The King's Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, a mark of difference from a state funeral, in which the gun carriage would be pulled by sailors.


Above, Three generations of the British Royal Family walked behind the Queen Mother’s coffin: in the picture, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Prince of Wales, HRH the Prince William of Wales and HRH The Duke of Kent are to be seen. Above left, the coffin goes past Horse Guards Parade. The long procession passed through various streets which were lined with over 1600 service men from the various branches of the Armed Forces.


Above, After 30 minutes of magnificent pageantry and ceremonial, the cortege arrived at the Palace of Westminster, where a crowd of over 10.000 people is to be seen on the left of the picture waited throughout the morning. The Queen, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie of York and Lady Sarah Chatto waited the members of the Royal Family that walked behind the gun carriage: the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, the Earl of Wessex, Prince William of Wales, Prince Henry of Wales, Viscount Linley, Mr. Peter Philips, Mr. Daniel Chatto, the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Prince Michael of Kent and Commodore Timothy Laurence. Others walking behind the coffin included members of the Bowes-Lyon Family as well as members of the Queen Mother’s Staff.

Above, The most royal and most unforgettable scenes of the week that followed the death of the Queen Mother took place under the magnificent vaulted ceiling of Westminster Hall, in the Palace of Westminster, siege of the British Parliament. Members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons welcomed the coffin as it arrived following the magnificent ceremonial procession. Four at each time, service men took their places in the vigil over the coffin, creating a scene of magical royalty and tradition. In the picture on the left, Her Majesty's Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen-at-Arms stands vigil. In the centre, the officers Royal Company of Archers (the Queen’s Bodyguard in Scotland) stand vigil and on the right, a beautiful picture of an officer of the Blues and Royals as he bows his head during the vigil.


Above, During four days and four nights, over 200.000 people filed past the Queen Mother’s coffin as it Lay-in-State. The scene inside the Great Hall was uniquely royal, uniquely magnificent. On the left, officiers of the Household Cavalry and the Blues and Royals stand vigil as thousands file past (the rate was between 2500 and 3000 people per hour). In the middle, The Queen's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard come down the stairs of the West Door of the Great Hall where they would replace the officers and stand vigil for 20 minutes, as in the picture on the right.


Above, Impressive picture of the vaulted ceiling of Westminster Hall with the queues filing past and the Gentlemen-at-Arms about to change the vigil. The queues impressed everyone, especially because the days right after the Queen Mother’s death hadn’t seen much public adhesion to the mourning. But during days and nights of the Lying-in-State, thousands queued for hours alongside the River Thames. On Sunday, the 7th April, around 70.000 people were queuing at one point, some waiting for up to 10 hours, the queue starting in the South bank of the river in front of the Dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral, thus more than 4 miles away from the Hall.


Above, The most moving moments of the week came on the evening of the 8th April, as the four grandsons stood vigil over their grandmother’s coffin, as thousands continued to file past. On the left, HRH the Duke of York, Viscount Linley, HRH the Prince of Wales and HRH the Earl of Wessex come down the stairs of the North Door of the Great Hall, silently and slowly. At 5.40 pm they replaced the Royal Company of Archers (centre) and kept the solemn vigil for some dramatic minutes. From a discreet point on the side, other members of the Royal Family watched: TRH the Princes William and Henry of Wales, HRH the Countess of Wessex, HRH the Princess Royal and Commodore Timothy Laurence watched the vigil.

Above, The Prince of Wales, whose eulogy to the Queen Mother and sad face during the funeral cortege had caught the attention, keeps the vigil over the coffin of his beloved grandmother. The coffin was covered with the Queen Mother’s personal standard and the magnificent Queen Consort’s Crown over it. As various people recalled, as the thousands moved one step forward there was always one diamond to get light and shine. The historic Koh-i-Noor diamond, set in the centre of a Maltese Cross, continuously got attention from the crowds.


Above, The small but very impressive funeral cortege left the Palace of Westminster shortly before 11.30 am on Tuesday, the 9th April 2002, the day of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s Funeral. As hundreds of thousands lined the streets, the gun carriage bearing the coffin of the Queen Mother was conducted to the Abbey to the amazing sound of hundreds of pipes and drums, marking her very Scottish links. The most senior members of the Royal Family followed on foot, led by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.


Above, Three pictures of the arrival of the coffin at Westminster Abbey: on the left, a magnificent view of the Abbey with the gun carriage stopped in front of it. In the centre, the procession moves towards the Quire and, on the left, it arrives in the transept of the Abbey. While the coffin is being placed in the catafalque, four officers deliver four cushions bearing the Queen Mother’s Insignia, including the Most Noble Order of the Garter.


Above, The service combined music, readings, prayers and a sermon recalling some of the special qualities of The Queen Mother. In his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey, spoke movingly of The Queen Mother's warmth and vitality. "Like the sun, she bathed us in her warm glow. Now that the sun has set and the cool of the evening has come, some of the warmth we absorbed is flowing back towards her... If there is one verse of scripture which captures her best, it is perhaps the description of a gracious woman in the final chapter of the book of Proverbs. Strength, dignity and laughter - three great gifts which we honour and celebrate today."

Above, The service ended with the sounding of the Last Post and Reveille, the proclamation of the formal styles and titles of The Queen Mother by the Garter King of Arms, and the singing of the national anthem, before the coffin was taken down the nave in a slow procession. Outside the Abbey, the pipers and drummers played a lament as the coffin was placed in the hearse, before beginning its final journey to Windsor.


Above, As the funeral cortege made its way down The Mall, the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight made two fly-pasts over Buckingham Palace. The two Spitfires and a Lancaster bomber paid tribute to the key role played by The Queen Mother with King George VI in boosting national morale during the Second World War. Members of the Royal Household at Buckingham Palace turned out to watch the hearse as it made its way to Windsor for the private service of committal and burial. Several members of foreign royal families attended the funeral, alongside a congregation of 2000 guests from Britain and the Commonwealth.

“I know what my darling grandmother meant to so many other people. She literally enriched their lives, and she was the original life enhancer, whether publicly or privately, whoever she was with. And in many ways, I think she's become an institution in her own right, a presence in the nation and in other realms and territories beyond these shores. At once indomitable, somehow timeless, able to span the generations. Wise, loving, with an utterly irresistible mischievousness of spirit. A mostly strong character, combined with a unique, natural grace and an infectious optimism about life itself.
“Above all, though, she understood the British character, and her heart belonged to this ancient old land and its equally indomitable and humorous inhabitants whom she served with panache, style and unswerving dignity for very nearly 80 years.

“I know too what she meant to the whole of my family, particularly to the Queen, for whom she was always such a stalwart and sensitive support ever since my grandfather died when he was only two-and-a-half years older than I am now.

“And for me, she meant everything, and I had dreaded, dreaded this moment along with, I know, countless others. Somehow, I never thought it would come. She seemed gloriously unstoppable and ever since I was a child, I adored her. Her houses were always filled with an atmosphere of fun, laughter and affection, and I learned so much from her of immense value in my life. Apart from anything else, she wrote such sparklingly wonderful letters, and her turn of phrase could be utterly memorable.

“But, above all, she saw the funny side of life, and we laughed 'til we cried, and oh how I shall miss those laughs. And the wonderful wisdom borne of so much experience and of an innate sensitivity to life. She was, quite simply, the most magical grandmother you could possibly have, and I was utterly devoted to her. Her departure has left an irreplaceable chasm in countless lives that, thank God, we're all richer for the sheer joy of her presence and everything she stood for.”

“Ever since my beloved mother died over a week ago I have been deeply moved by the outpouring of affection which has accompanied her death. My family and I always knew what she meant for the people of this country and the special place she occupied in the hearts of so many here, in the Commonwealth and in other parts of the world. But the extent of the tribute that huge numbers of you have paid my mother in the last few days has been overwhelming. I have drawn great comfort from so many individual acts of kindness and respect.
“Over the years I have met many people who have had to cope with family loss, sometimes in the most tragic of circumstances. So I count myself fortunate that my mother was blessed with a long and happy life. She had an infectious zest for living, and this remained with her until the very end. I know too that her faith was always a great strength to her.

“At the ceremony tomorrow I hope that sadness will blend with a wider sense of thanksgiving, not just for her life but for the times in which she lived - a century for this country and the Commonwealth not without its trials and sorrows, but also one of extraordinary progress, full of examples of courage and service as well as fun and laughter. This is what my mother would have understood, because it was the warmth and affection of people everywhere which inspired her resolve, dedication and enthusiasm for life.

“I thank you for the support you are giving me and my family as we come to terms with her death and the void she has left in our midst. I thank you also from my heart for the love you gave her during her life and the honour you now give her in death.

“May God bless you all.”
Top Bottom