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Saturday, 30 March, 2002, 19:19 GMT
Charles and the Queen Mother
The prince and the Queen Mother at her 100th birthday pageant
Prince Charles was often by the Queen Mother's side
The Prince of Wales enjoyed a very close relationship with the Queen Mother and spoke movingly about his love for her.

His admiration for her was well known and he demonstrated this deep affection for her on public engagements.

The prince rushed to her side when her daughter Princess Margaret died in February.

And he accompanied the Queen Mother at St Paul's Cathedral to celebrate her 100th birthday.

She belongs to that priceless brand of human beings whose greatest gift is to enhance life for others

Prince Charles

In February 1994, he told Maori elders at Turangawaewae, New Zealand, that she was "one of the most remarkable and wonderful people in the world".

He said the Queen Mother, who was then 93 and recovering from a bad chest infection, displayed an undiminished zest for life.

Throughout his 17-day tour of Australia and New Zealand, the Prince had requested updates on her health.

He told Maori leaders that his grandmother sent warm greetings.

'Extraordinary'

He said: "She is 93, nearly 94, and completely indefatigable and unstoppable."

"She is a great example of that remarkable generation that grew up at the turn of the century and someone who I think is one of the most remarkable and wonderful people in the world."

The crowd of 150 elders, who have a strong sense of family, were very approving.

The prince was always attentive and often held her as she walked, such as at the London wedding of Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones to Daniel Chatto in July 1994.
The prince and the Queen Mother at a Highland event in September, 2000.
The prince spoke openly of his love for his grandmother

In 1978, in a book about the Queen Mother by veteran BBC Court Correspondent Godfrey Talbot, the prince wrote: "I would have said that most grandsons probably have a rather special relationship with their grandmothers, which is no doubt something to do with the difference in generations.

"But ever since I can remember my grandmother has been the most wonderful example of fun, laughter, warmth, infinite security and, above all else, exquisite taste in so many things.

"For me, she has always been one of those extraordinarily rare people whose touch can turn everything to gold - whether it be putting people at their ease, turning something dull into something amusing, bringing happiness and comfort to people by her presence or making any house she lives in a unique haven of cosiness and character.

Stroke

"She belongs to that priceless brand of human beings whose greatest gift is to enhance life for others through her own effervescent enthusiasm for life.

"She has been doing that for very nearly 78 years, through war and peace, through change and uncertainty - an inspiration and a figure of love and affection for young and old alike."

The prince was at his grandmother's right hand during her 100th birthday celebrations and accompanied her to St Paul's Cathedral and at the birthday pageant on Horse Guards.

He also rushed to his grandmother's side after the death on Saturday February 9, 2002, of his aunt Princess Margaret.

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The BBC's Jennie Bond
on the close relationship the Queen Mother had with her grandchildren
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