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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 January 2008, 02:49 GMT
In pictures: Sir Edmund Hillary funeral

Representatives of the New Zealand Defence Force carry the casket of Sir Edmund Hillary in Auckland on 22 January 2008

As dignitaries from around the world gathered in Auckland for the state funeral of Sir Edmund Hillary, members of the defence forces guarded his casket before the service.

New Zealand PM Helen Clark and Lady June Hillary arrive for the funeral

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark (middle left) accompanied the mountaineer's widow, Lady June Hillary (middle right), into the service at St Mary's Cathedral.

Members of the public watch the state funeral for Sir Edmund Hillary at The Auckland Domain on 22 January 2008

Thousands of mourners around the country - like these crowds in Auckland - watched the event on large outdoor screens set up in several main centres.

The coffin of Sir Edmund Hillary is carried from St Mary's Cathedral in Auckland.

As Sir Edmund's coffin was carried out of the cathedral, a group of his fellow mountaineers formed a guard of honour, creating an arch of ice axes to show their respect.

Representatives of the New Zealand Defence Force carry the casket of Sir Edmund Hillary out of St Marys Church following the State Funeral

The funeral of the first man to conquer the world's tallest mountain brought together 500 guests, including Sherpas and Buddhist monks as well as friends and family.

Auckland mourners line the streets as the hearse carrying the casket of Sir Edmund Hillary leaves St Mary's Cathedral.

The climber's position as a national icon was in no doubt as members of the public thronged Auckland's streets to pay their last respects to Sir Edmund on his final journey.

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