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Sunday, 31 March, 2002, 11:12 GMT 12:12 UK
Family prepares for funeral
King George VI's coffin is taken to St George's Chapel in Windsor in 1952
The Queen Mother will follow her husband's funeral journey
The final preparations are being made for the Queen Mother's funeral.

The public will be able to pay their respects after the Royal Family have had their own mourning period in Windsor.

The Queen Mother's body will be laid out in state in the medieval setting of Westminster Hall in London for about three days, for the public to queue up and file past.

A ceremonial funeral service in Westminster Abbey will follow before she is taken to Windsor to be buried beside her husband in St George's Chapel.

Queen Mother at her 99th birthday celebrations
The Queen Mother's body will be laid out
The date of the funeral is not yet known but it is estimated it will be in about eight days' time.

Royal advisers were meeting on Sunday to discuss the final details.

The Queen Mother's coffin was due to be taken from Royal Lodge, her Windsor home, to the Royal Chapel of All Saints, the small Gothic church in Windsor Great Park, on Sunday.

Led by the Queen, senior royals have attended a private Easter Sunday service at Windsor Castle where prayers for the Queen Mother were said.

Paying respects

Books of condolence were opened on Sunday morning at St James's Palace, London, at Sandringham House Visitor Centre, Norfolk, and at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.

The public vigil in Westminster Hall, in a few days' time, will be the first event of its kind since the death of the Queen Mother's husband, King George VI, in 1952.

St George's Chapel, Windsor
Princess Margaret's ashes have been resting at St George's Chapel, Windsor
The coffin will be brought to Westminster Hall from the Queen's Chapel at St James's Palace, close to Clarence House, the Queen Mother's London home.

Vast crowds are expected to queue to file past the coffin, which will be placed high on a purple-draped wooden frame.

It will be the same spot where King George VI lay in state himself and will be guarded day and night by a contingent of Gentleman at Arms and Yeomen of the Guard.


The funeral arrangements are likely to have been agreed with the Queen Mother before her death.

It will not be a state funeral, usually reserved for the monarch, but a ceremonial one.

The ashes of Princess Margaret, who had a private funeral, are expected to be interred with the Queen Mother's coffin in the George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor.

The princess's ashes have been resting in the Royal Vault at St George's Chapel, Windsor.

They were always intended to be buried with her father, but the family were waiting for the tomb to be opened at the Queen Mother's death.

The first Royal coffin to be placed on solemn public view at Westminster was that of King Edward VII in 1910.

It was repeated on the deaths of King George V and George VI.

The lying in state will be followed by a ceremonial funeral service in Westminster Abbey conducted by the Dean of Westminster.

The coffin will then be taken by road to Windsor and its arrival will be signalled by the tolling of the Sebastopol bell, which was captured from the Russians in the Crimea War.

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