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Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 22:45 GMT
Princess's coffin moved to Windsor
Princess Margaret's coffin in the Queen's Chapel at St James's Palace
Princess Margaret's coffin was at St James's Palace
Princess Margaret's coffin has been taken to Windsor, ahead of her funeral on Friday.

The coffin, draped in the Princess's personal standard, was moved from the Queen's Chapel in St James's Palace and transferred to a hearse on Thursday afternoon.

Dean of the Chapels Royal Richard Chartres, accompanied by Sub-Dean William Booth, the Queen's domestic chaplain, said a prayer over the coffin as it was carried by pallbearers.

The Queen Mother's helicopter
The Queen Mother flew to Windsor despite health concerns
It made a 75-minute journey to the ancient St George's Chapel, Windsor - the place where the funeral of her father King George VI was also held 50 years ago on Friday.

Earlier, the Queen Mother flew to Windsor ahead of her daughter's funeral.

A helicopter left Sandringham, the royal Norfolk estate, at about 1450GMT on Thursday and reached Royal Lodge, her Windsor home, about 45 minutes later.

The 101-year-old is said to be determined to attend Friday's funeral, despite ongoing health problems and a fall on Wednesday.

Asked about his grandmother's health during a trip to Ireland, Prince Charles said: "She's very resilient. She's alright, thank you."

Sentimental departure

After watching the Queen Mother's helicopter leave Sandringham local pensioner Mary Relph said: "That was the most poignant sight I have ever seen when that helicopter flew away.

"It brought a tear to my eye. I think that might be the last time the Queen Mother leaves Sandringham. It was very sentimental."

There had been doubts about whether the Queen Mother would be able to make the journey at all, after she fell and cut her arm.

The Queen Mother suffered a "relatively minor" injury after slipping while getting up from a chair in her sitting room.

BBC Royal correspondent Jennie Bond said it was believed the Queen Mother had coped with the journey "remarkably well, was quite chatty and in good heart".

Chesty cough

She is not ill, is getting stronger day by day, but remains shaky on her legs and is likely to be in a wheelchair if she attends.

The Queen Mother has been at Sandringham since before Christmas and has not been seen in public since November after suffering a bad cold and chesty cough.

She is said to be coping well with the bereavement and a final decision on whether or not she will attend the funeral is expected on Friday.

Prince Charles decided to go ahead with the two-day trip to Ireland despite the death of his aunt.

He decided to stick to the arrangement in deference to the likely wishes of the princess and because so much planning had already been done on both sides of the Irish Sea.

Princes to attend

The official visit - Charles's first since 1995 - had been scheduled for last year, but was put off because of the foot-and-mouth crisis.

Part of the itinerary has been dropped to enable the prince to leave Dublin in time to be at Princess Margaret's funeral in London.

His sons Prince William and Prince Harry, will be at the funeral service, which starts at 1500 GMT.

And the Princess Royal is also expected to return from America, where she is at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, in time.

The BBC's Jennie Bond
"The service is going to be very private"
See also:

14 Feb 02 | Europe
Prince Charles on Irish visit
12 Feb 02 | UK
Princess to be cremated
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