Gun salutes honour Queen Mother

 

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article titled “Gun salutes honour Queen Mother” was written by Staff and agencies, for theguardian.com on Monday 1st April 2002 12.25 UTC

Gun salutes rang in cities across Britain at midday today in memory of the Queen Mother, who died on Saturday in her 102nd year.

Forty-one shots were fired at one-minute intervals from guns in London, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Aldershot, Dover, Plymouth, York and also in Gibraltar.

Draped in her royal standard and adorned with a wreath of pink camellias, the Queen Mother's coffin was today before the altar of the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park.

The simple Victorian chapel, where the Queen Mother was a regular worshipper, is her resting place until tomorrow when the coffin will be taken to London in preparation for a ceremonial funeral on April 9.

Although she will not receive a state funeral – reserved for sovereigns – the Queen Mother's body will lie in state at Westminster Hall from Friday afternoon until the evening of Monday April 8.

The Queen yesterday led prayers in the chapel for her family.

Today she and her daughter, Princess Anne, rode their horses at a slow walk in the grounds of Windsor Castle. They joined the Earl of Wessex, who had set out on his own 10 minutes earlier.

The Prince of Wales will make a televised tribute to his grandmother later today.

The Queen Mother's coffin was yesterday taken to the chapel along a gravel road from nearby Royal Lodge, her Windsor residence, where she died on Saturday, weakened by a bad cough and chest infection.

Walking behind, in black livery, were three members of staff – two men and a woman – one carrying a potted jasmine, an Easter gift to his grandmother from the Prince of Wales.

After the Westminster Abbey funeral the coffin will then travel by road to Windsor for a private committal service and interment at St George's Chapel, within the precincts of Windsor Castle, later that day.

The Queen Mother will finally be laid to rest alongside her husband in the George VI Memorial Chapel at St George's.

The ashes of Princess Margaret, who died just seven weeks ago, will be taken from the Royal Vault in St George's and interred in the George VI Memorial Chapel at the same time.

In accordance with the Queen Mother's wishes, there will be no official memorial service.

There will be national mourning up to the day of the Queen Mother's funeral and flags will remain at half-mast until then.

The Royal Family will remain in mourning until April 19.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010

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