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Tuesday, 9 April, 2002, 14:09 GMT 15:09 UK
Queen Mother's lying-in-state: Your reflections
The Queen has made a personal television and radio address to thank the public for their "overwhelming" tributes to her mother.Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
She revealed her sadness at the loss, as well as giving thanks for the Queen Mother's long and eventful life.
The broadcast was made the day before the funeral at Westminster Abbey.
Shortly before the address was carried across Britain's TV and radio stations and online, the Queen Mother's four grandsons, princes Charles, Andrew, and Edward, and Viscount Linley, held a vigil at the four corners of her coffin.
The Queen's address set the tone for the funeral where solemn pageantry will be tempered by a celebration of the Queen Mother's achievements.
What did you think of the Queen's broadcast? Have you personally paid your respects to the Queen Mother at Westminster Hall? Will you be going to the funeral or watching or listening on TV or radio or online? Share your experiences.
Andrea Kirby, England
I am a 16 year old student at college at the moment and I will be unable to watch the Queen Mothers Funeral. Myself and many of my friends find this upsetting because we will never get to see a sight like this again. The college will not be showing the funeral this morning and I have heard no mention of a 2 minute silence. I feel it is a disrespectful way for the college to behave. God Bless the Queen Mother, she will be sadly missed.
The late, great "Queen Mum" was a glowing, golden beam of warm, benign sunlight who lit up the world by her cheering person. Anyone who fails to feel a keen sense of loss at her passing has a dark soul indeed. Just the enduring memory of her lifts my heart with a sense of joy and thanks.
In her broadcast, the Queen has once again displayed the dignity and sense of duty that the Queen Mother was so famous for. Having borne the loss of both her sister and mother, she never fails to demonstrate the utmost in grace and graciousness even in times of heart wrenching sorrow. Queen Elizabeth II is a class act - God Save the Queen!
Mark Schofield, France
The procession to the lying in state was one of the most moving moments of my life. The Queen mother was more then a member of the Royal Family, she WAS the Royal Family for so many years. The Queen is to be supported by all those who understand the importance between sovereign and nation.
My partner and I were deeply saddened when the death of the Queen Mother was announced. What a wonderful example of duty, grace, courage and a joyful life well lived. While we extend our deepest sympathies to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and her family we believe that they have been truly blessed with her long life and steely support.
I am a Canadian who has admired the Royal Family for as long as I can recall. The sense of duty that the Queen Mother showed during the war years right up to her engagements only a little while before her death showed her courage and love for the British people. I feel deeply saddened by her death and feel I have lost a part of myself. The world has lost a great woman.
Beautiful, dignified, strong, united, some of the words used too describe a truly remarkable lady, she will be sadly missed. Nobody in the world can display such splendour and respect as England and her combined forces - well done to all. As a nation we do not appreciate what we have in the Royal Family God Bless them.
Although not there in person I will be there in spirit, thinking of you and the effect on our nation all day today. Sometimes you feel out on a limb as an expatriate, a bit helpless, no matter where you are and what you do, in whatever time zones, you are still affected by such news at home. May she rest in peace and God give courage and strength to all her family and friends today.
Friedrich Raböck, Austria
I myself have to go to school tomorrow and I unfortunately will be unable to see the funeral live. At school today, my friends and people in general were more interested in missing lessons than paying respects to the Queen Mother. I will record the funeral but I am annoyed at my school for not giving us the chance to view it as it happens.
As a life long anti-Royalist I amazed myself by the intensity of the sadness I have felt with the death of the Queen Mother. It seems the old saying that you never know what you had until it's gone is correct.
Deborah Judd, Bracknell Berkshire
I cannot believe the chaos this caused on Tuesday for those who, like myself, were trying to get to work. If people want to queue up for hours to mourn the passing of an outdated anachronism that had more than her fair share of luxury, wealth and even years, then that is entirely up to them. However, when ordinary people are just trying to get on with their lives and go to work to earn a living, it is a bit rich when roads are blocked off and they have to go a long way out of their way to get to work to accommodate the crowds. I blame the media for a lot of this nonsense. Ridiculous statements like "the nation's grandmother" just seem to add to the mass hysteria. What on earth did the woman do to deserve all this? It is ironic to think that she planned all this for herself which certainly gives us some idea of what she thought of her own importance, but why should we agree with that estimation? Personally, I was more distressed by the passing of Dudley Moore.
Some of the comments I have read here are very sad. Because those of you who wrote them have obviously heard or read something and then copied it without thinking. The actual cost of the funeral is negligible, the Armed Forces are paid 24 hours a day 7 days a week. But they would have done it even if they had not been paid for their time. As for any other cost it was well spent on a lady that has worked for over 80 years for her country. A lot better than some two-bit prime minister who may only be in power for four or five years and then fade from view. But then it seems to be fashionable to knock anything that has been around for some time such as the Monarchy.
As always the troops, airmen and sailors were brilliantly drilled and turned out. In contrast there was the vaguely comical sight of various members of the Royal Family walking behind, some have whom had been in the dressing up box and others that had not. Generally I thought that it was well done, if you like that sort of thing. Looking forward and having seen the early morning funeral rehearsal on TV I have no doubt that the massed pipe band that will lead the procession will be a particularly impressive spectacle. I can fully understand the arguments put forward by those disappointed in people who have no time for Royalty, that such occasions give us a benefit from tourism. Indeed my impression of the parade on Friday and subsequent queues to get into Westminster Hall is that the whole affair is more of an opportunity to marvel at the spectacle than a case of people wishing to pay their respects.
What I cannot accept is the argument that we need a Monarch to perpetuate tourism. The history, buildings and statues are the true draw and would still be here regardless of whether the head of state was the Queen, the Prime Minister or David Beckham. Indeed without a Monarchy many of the private areas could be opened up and we would see far more than we are offered at present. Is anyone seriously suggesting that those surveying Rome from the shadow of the Coliseum complain: "Well it's a lovely view but it could really do with a King to finish it off"?
Although I am saddened by the cynicism and cruel tone of a few (thankfully) of the comments here, I am also heartened, nay, comforted, by the voices and actions of the "silent majority" of us Britons who understand what the monarchy means. The Queen Mother, a wonderful lady in her own right, stood for so much more, though, as do all members of the Royal Family: they represent the continuity or our nation, our institutions and our way of life. For those of us who constitute that silent majority, and who really do "get it", this has been a marvellous affirmation that the soul of the British nation is very much alive and well.
F. G. Phillips (71 plus years), England
How saddened so many were here upon the death of the Queen Mother. Rather than the adolescent comments posted here about "the cost of the funeral", or the disrespectful references to one who was a paragon of Christian Faith, duty and service as "an old lady," thoughtful and informed people know of the enormous good she did using her exalted position to do it and the sterling example she was in a day and age when "drug, sex, rock and roll" or at least the acquisition of the most money possible seem to set the standard for success and happiness.
I didn't watch the procession - to be honest, I forgot it was on!
I think it says everything about the values of today's society, that a week on from here death, she is still the top headline in every news bulletin! Meanwhile, people are slaughtering each other in other countries - but we don't need to hear about that.
I watched the documentary on the Queen Mother, in it Mia Farrow retold the story of when she asked the Queen Mum at a dinner party what she thought the most important thing you could teach your children. Her majesty paused and replied "manners" Obviously some of the cynics on this page haven't been taught any.
Jose Mitchell, England
I watched the procession from beginning to end and thought it was simply splendid. I was deeply moved by the whole event. The love and care and precision that went into putting together such a spectacular event in such a short time, was simply amazing and I for one appreciated it in every way.
We had our own special ceremony for the Queen Mother at my office yesterday. We in the US miss her too.
Despite the obvious courage and dignity of the Queen Mother herself as an individual, from a political and social perspective I thought the whole thing was revolting and way over the top. It's time Britons focused on important issues like the absence of a fully functioning parliament and realised the rotten influence this obsession with the royal family has on the national psyche.
I have always been brought up to be patriotic and part of our English heritage is the Royal Family. Why can we not just pay our respects to a great lady and wish that she may rest in peace rather than raise arguments over funeral costs and the 'sheep-like' grieving?
For those of you who balk and moan at the cost or the worth of such a spectacle for an "old lady", it may be worth remembering that if it were not for the sheer bravery, stoicism and spirit shown by this "old lady", her husband and family in the face of tyranny, you may not even be here right now to complain. The Royal Family inspired a nation during WWII by not giving in and taking the easy, painless way out.
Last November I had the honour of representing the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in the Garden of Remembrance at Westminster and the Queen Mother spoke to me, and I shook her hand. A great honour, a great day and a great Lady.
As someone of fifteen who's not particularly interested in the royal family, I can't understand why the entire population turn into sheep and move into one place just because an old lady, who happened to be a royal, died.
I can't believe how
many people are
the cost of the
procession of the
Queen Mother. I wish
with all my heart
that I could have got
to London for this
sad day. But I am
going to send Her
Elizabeth a sympathy
card. I don't care
how much it will cost. The card is
about $5.00 Canadian
and to send it
Registered Mail cost
another $10.00, plus
the stamps. A small
price to pay for
some respect and
honour for Her
Majesty and the late
Queen Mother. I did
watch the procession
of the Queen Mother
and it was a very
moving and once-in-
to watch all the
Steven, Leeds, England
The news has been dominated by her death to the point of being ridiculous.
At this moment we are watching live web of the Queen Mother lying in state and can feel part of this passing of an era that will never be repeated. We have been in Australia for 30 years but at this moment feel like we are in The UK
Many other brave women worked through the blitz but did not get a lavish funeral ceremony. The Queen Mother deserves to be remembered as a brave woman, but surely a simple ceremony would have sufficed. The tax money saved could have been spent on appropriate worthy causes. Also, tourism does not require a royal family (look at France).
I think it is a
wonderful thing to do a most loved Lady. We get so many bad things on TV! Yes I thought it was done with pride and respect. Love to all the Royal family.
We all watched the Queen Mum's funeral procession on BBC World and it was truly a very moving experience. The British are to be admired, and indeed respected, for being able to show their admiration, love and respect for such a great lady as the Queen Mother. God bless the Queen Mother, the British Monarchy and the peoples of the UK. Rest in peace ma'am. You have surely earned a special place in heaven!
Fiona Mackenzie, Australia
We found the procession moving but done with dignity. Just as she was. We shall miss her very much.
I turned on my TV just in time to see the procession turn into Whitehall at the Horseguards Arch. It was so reminiscent of 1999 and Diana's funeral that it brought tears to my eyes. But this was a very old lady, who had led a wonderful life, full of variety and enduring a century of changes. I felt a twinge of pride that only in Britain could something appear so polished - no other country has that touch.
you have admirers worldwide in spite of imperialism of the past and the snobbism of the present thanks to the royalty, Shakespeare, Newton and Churchill - in these order.
I now live in Canada but I have to say I was proud to be British to see the huge numbers of my fellow citizens paying their respects to our last Queen-Empress. It was particularly poignant in that it was not expected. Thank you, fellow citizens, for being there.
We caught the 5.41 train from Sunbury, determined to pay our respects to a great lady as she passed us by. We were in the Mall, about 100m down from St. James's Palace. Everyone was quiet and respectful as the parade passed in front of us... our hearts went out to the Royal Family as they walked behind her as their mark of respect. They are after all, human with human emotions ... and quietly in our minds we prayed that the Queen Mum, although we never knew her personally, is resting in peace, in the arms of the Lord. It was a sad day, but the country is infinitely richer for having known her and will be sorely missed ... Then as the Queen and her family returned from Westminster Hall, a ripple of applause and support for them all, was to be heard, as they passed by.
Lisa de Araujo, Cambridge, UK (ex US)
I stayed up late last night to watch the procession, for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. I felt both moved and saddened. Not only by the pageantry, but by the sheer emotion expressed on the faces of Her Majesty's family and representatives. They are human also, and unlike so many of us, often are faced with the daunting prospect of having to mourn in the glare of the public eye. Each and everyone of us should commend them on how they conducted themselves, with such strength, courage and integrity.
Britain's most precious jewel has made her final journey along the royal route she travelled so often. Queen Elizabeth II is the only living embodiment of all that royalty should be, she received her training at the hands of an expert. Long live The Queen, may The Queen live forever. And may she never step down.
I was told by people in my family that during the war, we yearned for symbols of bravery to help us deal with the war. King George and that wonderful Queen stayed in London through the blitz. Her humour and optimism was infectious. She had a lot to do with helping the American people see that FDR had the right ideas. They visited America and won our hearts.
Oh make the pipes wail loud for her bonnie heart.
We live in Leicester and travelled yesterday to London for the procession. I waited 4 hours to go into Westminster Hall to pay respect from our family for the Queen Mother. The general feeling shown was that people realised how much the Queen Mother had contributed to this country over the last 70 years and even more so since the death of the King. Then it was worthwhile to wait the length of time necessary as the Queen Mother always worked without complaint. She was the example - we were the followers!
I watched the Funeral Procession on video last night when I got home from work. It was a wonderful display of all things British and no more than the Queen Mother deserved. My daughter and I then went to Westminster Hall to pay our respects. The sight that awaits you takes your breath away. We were both moved to tears. So plain and simple but so moving and steeped in history. That sight will live with us forever. A day to make you proud to be British.
The opinion of an ex-patriot Scot...it was a show of pomp and falsely reported "interest". Viva la republic!
I can remember well, during the early days of the Second World War, the Queen's example of courage and dignity and genuine devotion to her people. I listened to her few broadcasts and the ones featuring the young princesses. She was an example of bravery then and continued to be an example of grace, humour and true elegance of character. She has, through those characteristics, won the hearts of many Americans who are saddened with the UK today.
Cold and cynical? I'm afraid they've brought most of this mood on themselves. Great procession though - wonderful for tourism...
I was moved by the pageantry and dignity of the procession.
As for the negative comments expressed primarily by people living in the UK, frankly I am disgusted! By contrast, I am warmed by the respect demonstrated by people from countries all over the world, who have sent in wonderful tributes.
Here in Canada we have received excellent coverage from our two main news networks, as well as BBC World News, both TV and online.
I, for one, shall miss the graceful presence of the Queen Mother. My own message of condolence was sent direct to Buckingham Palace.
We should have a public holiday next Tuesday in respect of the Queen Mum. The BBC should be encouraging us to be proud of what we have in this country as we are envied all over the world. Why are the media trying to destroy our heritage.
Nowhere in the world could such a funeral be staged. We should all be proud of our heritage. It is after all what makes this country great. The royal family are part of this country's history and like it or not bring in many visitors to London and the rest of the UK. I enjoy reading comments from overseas. I for one am proud to be British. RIP Queen Mother.
Really sorry to see a lady of such grace and value to the world passing into history. Genuine condolences to her family and Nation. Yes I think the ceremony is appropriate and hope to watch on CNN April 9th.
As a Yank in LA,I send my condolences to all who were touched by the warmth, gentility and kindness of your Queen Mum. Such a grand lady who graced the lives of all who came in contact with her, drew solace from her words and strength from her courage. I regret to say for all of her wonderful 101years, she was callously allotted an average of 10 seconds in our local news briefs...hardly befitting a tribute to such a remarkable woman.
A sad yet sweet event. The passing of a lady who touched so many with her grace, courage and love. She spent well her life. Requiescat in pace.
Our deepest sympathy to the queen and her family. The world as well as our family will remember the queen mum with nothing but the fondest of memories.
The ceremony was dignified, and represented who it was we were honouring. These ceremonies remind us of our roots, and where we are from. The Queen Mother served her country well and now it is her time to rest.
To Louise from Canada, why don't you take your anti-American sentiments elsewhere? I see you have a right to your opinion, but when others want to express theirs (especially Americans) they don't have the right. Is it because they are the greatest, most powerful nation on earth? I am very happy the Americans like our royal family and not to mention the mounds of dollars they spend in our country. The Yanks are showing much more respect for our beloved Queen Mother than any of my fellow UK citizens or you wanna-be Brit Canadians who are constantly dwarfed by the USA!
KB - A tiny fraction of the money that she and the rest of the royal family attract to your country each year. Can't believe some of the mean-spirited comments in this forum.
Mention has been made of the much more important things going on the world. Would we like to see some more tanks and bombings in the Middle East perhaps?
I can think of nothing more important than a humane and decent country taking time out to honour someone they have known and loved for so many years. The magnificence of the procession to Westminster Hall was one of those refreshingly beautiful moments in a great country's history when its people can reflect on who and what they are.
I awoke this morning and turned on the news just as the procession began... and I was mesmerized by the pageantry, dignity, solemnity and obvious sincerity of the participants. I know from speaking with those who suffered during the London Blitz that she provided inspiration and compassion. After such a long walk on this earth, she now has a well deserved rest.
Like a lot of people, I watched it online. I thought it was a wonderful tribute to her. All of those people complaining about the cost, if they really feel that schools and hospitals should have gotten the money, instead of complaining, could remember her memory by taking an hour of their free time this weekend and walking around to their local hospital or school and donating some money. But they probably will not because they are just moaners. Let the country remember all that the Queen Mother stood for and reflect for a moment.
I watched the procession this morning. The beautiful weather and pageantry made London appear absolutely dazzling. The cost- conscious nay sayers should be relieved to learn that, like many Americans, my vacation dollars will be spent in England this summer because of the wonderful spectacle witnessed today.
The Queen Mother represents the best of the UK. She was a stateswoman, a diplomat and the head and heart of her family and her country. She was a leader in spirit and strength; a great woman for all times. God Bless Her!
You moan about the taxpayers money! Do you know how much money England gets from tourists who come to see or history? If it was not for our history why else would people come? The weather! or perhaps the food! I am all for the British Monarchy and may one of their and our countries loved ones rest in peace. God save the Queen.
Kay Lee, England
I think it's very sad that some British people fail to take pride in their monarchy. The British monarchy, (despite their many short-comings), is what makes your country stand out, and it is a real national treasure for you. It's a pity some of you do not realise this. I think the funeral procession was very beautiful and fitting.
I thought it was very moving tribute to a remarkable woman. Although I had never met her, the Queen Mother felt like part of my life and family. The television ceremony touched my heart with joy and sadness. Thank you to all involved.
There is something inside of humans that love this kind of ceremony regardless of its cost or purpose. The Queen Mother seems to have led the kind of life that many of us admire. I look forward to seeing many other royal festivities in the future.
Jim O'Brien, Canada
The most memorable part of the procession for me was when the Life Guards bowed their heads once in place in vigil at the corners of the Queen Mother's coffin, an image I will never forget. God save the Queen!
I thought this wasn't paid for the taxpayer but was paid for by the Royal Family. However, whoever paid for it I don't mind, because it was a remarkable occasion. It made me very proud. Stop whining and be pleased with the procession, which was a beautiful goodbye to a beautiful person by a beautiful country.
It was well worth getting up in the middle of the night to watch Britain's pageantry and respect at its best. Makes me proud to be a Brit.
Who paid for it?
The taxpayer I bet. We should have invested the money in improving the quality of life for millions of old people who have nothing, rather than spending it commemorating the death of one who had everything.
Sandra, South Africa
I was in London but couldn't get close to the ceremony - I wish I had been able to. Today's ceremony wasn't just a way of saying goodbye, it was a statement by a nation showing that it continues to hold dear certain traditions, standards and institutions - despite what current 'fads' might dictate. Many would argue that these are 'irrelevant'. Fortunately those traditions, standards and institutions have been around to ensure that our democracy is the envy of the world and we are free to express it. Those who argue otherwise should take a long holiday - in the opposite direction to those many thousands who seem desperate to get into the country!
I am proud that so many people turned out to pay respect to the Queen Mother. I hope the Queen and her family realise how we share their sorrow at this time. Today was an opportunity to show our support for the Queen.
A rare and marvellous display of a skill at which the British excel: the stage-managing of ceremony and pageantry. What a pity there's no export market for it.
The Queen Mother set the standard for strength, dignity, and loyalty. We can all strive to be half the person she was. I feel blessed that she was there during my lifetime.
Beautifully done in every way. Dignified and stirring.
Today I feel so proud to be British. My thoughts are with Her Majesty the Queen, having lost her sister and mother in such a short period yet maintaining stoic and dignified at a time when most of us would just give up. I hope that the nation will rally round our Queen in her Jubilee Year to show how much we love and respect her.
I think that everyone should get a day off work or school. I am lucky as I have another week off school and will be able to see it, but most people will not be able to.
What a wonderful and fitting tribute to a great lady.
Well done to all who took part.
It was good to see so many people of all ages pay their
Condolences to the Royal family.
Heaven has at least one more angel.
Much has been made of what a privileged life HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother led, as if this in some way detracts from her achievements. Of course it doesn't! To continue with a gruelling schedule of public engagements past the age of a hundred, to always smile and be pleasant no matter how she was actually feeling, to make it look, as one commentator put it, as if laying foundation stones was her favourite occupation in the whole world - these attributes would be beyond most. That is why so many admire her and mourn her passing, not just because she was part of the institution of the Monarchy. The march this morning was a demonstration of the respect in which the nation held an individual, not a concept.
What a dignified, beautiful funeral for a wonderful woman. The Royal Family always teaches us Americans how to act in the proper manner for those they love.
Brian and Rosemary Smith, England
I work yards from the Houses of Parliament but I didn't go along to the ceremony. I don't have any great affection for the Royal Family, so to go along and watch the procession would have felt like intruding on a family's grief. I wonder how many of the onlookers were actually there to mourn and not to gawp?
I was very tearful watching the perfectly orchestrated procession on TV. A fine tribute to a fine lady. Sleep well your majesty.
Why do these ceremonies always have a relationship with weapons? Quotes from BBC radio news talking about how it was a magnificent sight to see all the swords and guns glistening in the sun...do we really want to be celebrating that?
I think it is disgusting that the palace and the government are not making this an official day of mourning. What is the point of giving such a grand public ceremony when the majority of the public will be unable to see it?
I feel sure the lady herself would have been very pleased with the day. This is exactly the respect of duty she based her life on. Everyone involved in the day's proceedings should be very proud of a job well done.
Andy, York, UK
I appreciated and valued the ceremony, which was fitting for a person who exemplified service to her people. It was also heartening to discover that there are still people and institutions that are a focus for national unity.
Andrew Gardner, UK
I watched the procession with great sadness and yet joy at seeing this homage to a lovely, sincere lady. The Royal Family have done her proud. She will be sadly missed.
Patricia S. Fraser, California, US
It was incredibly moving to watch the procession, even on the TV in the work canteen. Like so many others, I would have wanted to watch the procession in person. However the tone set by the BBC's coverage evoked the atmosphere for us here in the city.
Is the Royal Family intending to contribute to the huge cost of staging this event?
Exactly how much is this costing taxpayers?
Trust someone to start whining about the cost to the taxpayer! Every country has civic ceremonies and this was an important one. I'm sure the amount of public money involved was relatively trivial and provides a good value morale boost for most people, despite the nature of the occasion.
The Queen Mother was a truly remarkable person to many Americans. She is very deserving of such a wonderful ceremony.
It's time to stop idolising this old lady who had everything that money could buy.
Those who do not wish to mourn do not have to but they should give the rest of us some respect and let us mark the passing of our Queen Mother. She was a wonderful part of living in this country and there are many of us who believe the nation will be a sadder place without her.
I am glad that Tuesday has not been declared a holiday because I am not paid for any time off work and I would lose a day's pay for no reason whatsoever.
The Queen Mother was an inspiration to both young and old. My condolences go out to the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family.
Sue B, UK
Like Sue B, I am in my mid 20s, but I hope that the miserly views expressed by some people today are still minority views. What is the point of spending vast amounts of money on education and health care if we are then to live a mundane existence with no sense of history or tradition, no ceremony, no sense of belonging? The Queen Mother dedicated her adult life to the service of this country and she deserved every ounce of the pomp and ceremony that was on display today.
All the servicemen and police would have had to be paid anyway. I think it will be a very sad day when we can't do these things properly just so we can drop to the lowest common denominator. Yes she had an exalted position but she lived a life of duty that 99% of us would never have been able to achieve.
My congratulations and thanks to our armed forces for the execution of a precise, dignified and moving ceremony. A fitting tribute.
In another time and place I may have agreed with the cynics who complain about the funeral's cost to the taxpayer but the Queen Mother's generation of royalty shaped Britain's reputation within the world today. People like her are the ones who are remembered; people who actually do something and give more back than they ever receive. Nowhere else in the world can put on a tribute like this; this is why people flock to Britain every year.
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