Today marks 15 years since Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother died at the Royal Lodge of Great Windsor Park aged 101.
Her Majesty passed away peacefully at 3:15pm on the 30th March 2002 after her condition deteriorated after suffering from ill health and a chest infection.
The Queen was at her mother’s bedside when she passed away and Buckingham Palace released the following statement:
“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. Members of the royal family have been informed.
“Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother had become increasingly frail in recent weeks following her bad cough and chest infection over Christmas.
“Her condition deteriorated this morning and her doctors were called. Queen Elizabeth died peacefully in her sleep at 3.15 this afternoon at Royal Lodge. The Queen was at her mother’s bedside.”
Born on August 4 1900, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the youngest daughter of Claude Bowes-Lyon, Lord Glamis and Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck.
Queen Elizabeth married Prince Albert, the Duke of York on the 26th of April 1923. The couple never expected that they would inherit the throne as it was widely expected that the Duke’s elder brother would marry and father children. In 1936 Prince Albert became King George VI when his brother King Edward VIII abdicated to marry Wallis Simpson.
The Queen Mother was the first ever member of the Royal Family to reach their centenary year. As per tradition, she received a birthday telegram from her daughter The Queen to celebrate the occasion.
Five days after her death, her body was laid-in-state after her coffin arrived at Westminster Hall. An estimated 200,000 visited the coffin to pay their last respects.
On the eve of her funeral, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of York, The Earl of Wessex and Viscount Linley stood guard at the Queen Mother’s coffin in the Vigil of the Princes. It was only the second occasion this had taken place. The first Vigil of the Princes was held for George V’s lying-in-state in 1936 by Edward VIII, the future George VI, Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester and Prince George, Duke of Kent.
On April 9 2002, the Queen Mother was laid to rest in Windsor alongside her husband King George VI. Around two million people turned out to pay their respects along the funeral route and many more observed a two minutes silence in her honour.