On this day in 2002, The Queen Mother died peacefully at 1:15pm in her sleep at the Royal Lodge, Windsor. She was 101. Her Majesty was with her mother when passed away. The BBC reported that Lady Margaret Rhodes, The Queen Mother’s niece was with her when she died. She commented: “It was a very moving and very sad moment but luckily it was peaceful.”
Buckingham Palace announced the news two and a half hours later: “The Queen, with the greatest sadness, has asked for the following announcement to be made immediately: her beloved mother, Queen Elizabeth, died peacefully in her sleep this afternoon at Royal Lodge, Windsor.”
Prince Charles was on a ski holiday in Switzerland with Princes William and Harry and returned early. At the time Prince Minister Tony Blair was at Chequers, his country retreat. Per the BBC he issued the following statement: “During her long and extraordinary life, her grace, her sense of duty and her remarkable zest for life made her loved and admired by people of all ages and backgrounds, revered within our borders and beyond.”
‘Operation Tay Bridge’ the 22-year-old plans were set in motion for her mourning and burial services. The plan was to have 10 days of national mourning with the ceremonial funeral at Westminster Abbey at 11:30am on Tuesday, 9 April 2002.
The Queen Mother’s coffin was at rest at Windsor for three days and then taken to The Queen’s Chapel at St James’ Palace. It was carried in ceremonial procession to Westminster Hall where, after a service, it rested on the same spot where her husband King George VI lay in state in February 1952. Gentleman at Arms and Yeomen of the Guard were 24 hour guards watching over her coffin.
The Queen mother was to be laid to rest alongside her husband in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
photo credit: SFB579 via photopin cc
Would the Queen Mother had only welcomed Princess Diana. This “parvenu” whom all of the United Kingdom and World honored as “the Peoples’ Princess.” A former correspondent of hers, who knows both would have been better had Princess Diana lived to help raise her children.
May her soul rest in peace.Amen
I remember when Her Majesty The Queen Mother took time out of busy schedule and walked by herself to where the Old Guard was standing and chat with them. I dare say all in that square of 100+ Canadian veterans knew and seen Her as Queen during World War II. The eyes of the veterans positively lit up with memories of service and comradeship during a very trying time of our history.
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