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Wednesday, 13 February, 2002, 16:56 GMT
Queen Mother hurt in minor fall
The Queen Mother getting into a car on 9 September 2001
Queen Mother is determined to attend the funeral
The Queen Mother has suffered a minor injury after slipping from a chair but still hopes to attend the funeral of her daughter Princess Margaret on Friday.

An ambulance and doctor were called after the incident in the Queen Mother's sitting room at Sandringham on Wednesday afternoon.

She suffered a "flesh wound" on the arm and had it dressed with a bandage.

Even before the slip there had been fears that the 101-year-old, who has been suffering from a chest cold since before Christmas and frail health for some time, would be too ill to attend her daughter's funeral.
Paramedic fast reponse unit
A paramedic fast response unit leaves Sandringham

But Clarence House - the Queen Mother's official London residence - said "there is no change to Her Majesty's plans to travel to Windsor" on Thursday.

Buckingham Palace has been looking at different transport options for the journey, including a helicopter with a specially built ramp, but it is considered most likely she will travel by car.

Shortly before news of the Queen Mother's slip emerged, Tony Blair led the Commons in a tribute to her daughter.

Service to nation

Speaking at the weekly prime minister's question time, he declared "how deeply we express our sadness on the death of her Royal Highness, the Princess Margaret".

Mr Blair went on: "She will be remembered by the whole nation with huge affection for her love of culture and art, her sense of fun, but most of all for the service she gave our nation".

He expressed condolences to the Royal Family, which were echoed by Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith and Liberal Democrat Charles Kennedy.

Queen Mother in Portsmouth, walking with sticks
The Queen Mother's last public engagement was on 22 November 2001
Earlier BBC Royal Correspondent Jennie Bond said the palace had told her that the Queen Mother was gradually improving after being laid low by a bug caught over Christmas, and could now walk around on flat surfaces, with the aid of sticks.

She said the Queen Mother was a "proud and dignified lady", who would not want to be seen struggling to get in and out of cars under the public gaze.

The Queen Mother was nonetheless determined to be at the service, she added.

The Queen Mother's last public engagement was on 22 November, when she re-commissioned the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal at a ceremony in Portsmouth.

Slough cremation

Her daughter Princess Margaret died on Saturday at the age of 71, after a stroke led to heart problems.

The princess's body will be cremated at Slough crematorium, following the service.

According to her wishes, no members of the royal family or friends will attend the cremation.
The coffin of Princess Margaret in St James's Palace
Princess Margaret will be cremated on Friday

Her ashes will be placed in a casket beside the coffin of her father, King George VI, in the Royal Vault of the chapel.

On Tuesday her former lady-in-waiting Lady Glenconner said Margaret had wanted to be cremated, because she found the royal burial ground, in Windsor Great Park, "very gloomy".

Princess Margaret's coffin is currently resting in the Queen's Chapel at St James's Palace in London.

The BBC's Jennie Bond
"She remains adamant that she wants to attend her daughter's funeral"

Key stories




Princess Margaret 1930-2002
See also:

12 Feb 02 | UK
Princess to be cremated
12 Feb 02 | UK
Queen resumes Royal duties
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