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Saturday, 30 March, 2002, 20:31 GMT
Royals gather to mourn
Princes Charles and Queen Mother
Prince Charles was very close to his grandmother
The Prince of Wales is due to fly back to the UK on Sunday after being informed of the death of the Queen Mother while on a skiing holiday in the Swiss resort of Klosters.

In a statement he said he and his sons, Princes William and Harry, were "completely devastated" by the news and intended to go straight to Windsor when they returned.

The Duke of York was told the news in Barbados, where he is on holiday with his former wife, the Duchess of York, and their children, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.


His Royal Highness...is naturally devastated, as are the boys

Royal spokesman

He is also understood to be making arrangements to return home.

A spokeswoman for the Prince of Wales said: "His Royal Highness was informed at about 4.30pm and is naturally devastated, as are the boys.

"He just wants to get back from holiday in Klosters."

It is understood the Prince is not expected to speak publicly about his grandmother's death until returning to the UK.

The royal party had just finished their second day of their annual week-long skiing holiday.

Charles was the first to be told after returning from the slopes at Klosters to the Walserhof Hotel, where he is staying.

Easter gathering

William and Harry found out later as they had raced to catch the final cable car ride of the day to the top of the ski slope.

They were told by their father who ushered them into his bedroom at the hotel.

They are not expected to be leave the hotel tonight.

Other members of the Royal Family were already arriving at Windsor for their traditional Easter gathering.

Those at Windsor included Princess Anne and her children Peter Phillips and Zara Phillips and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

Viscount Linley and his sister Lady Sarah Chatto, whose mother Princess Margaret died on 9 February, are also there.

The Queen Mother died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 101 at 1515GMT on Saturday.

See also:

30 Mar 02 | UK
In pictures: 100th birthday
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