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Sunday, 31 March, 2002, 13:28 GMT 14:28 UK
Britain mourns Queen Mother
The Queen Mother alongside the Queen
The Queen was at her mother's bedside when she died
Britain is in mourning for Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

With her daughter, the Queen, by her side in Windsor's Royal Lodge, the Queen Mother died peacefully in her sleep on Saturday afternoon at the age of 101.

Her coffin will be moved to the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park on Sunday afternoon.

We give thanks to God for a life not only of great longevity but also of one lived to the full

Archbishop of Canterbury
The Prince of Wales - said to be "devastated" - has arrived at Windsor with Princes William and Harry after cutting short a skiing holiday in Switzerland.

Royal advisers are meeting to finalise arrangements for her funeral in Westminster Abbey.

Special prayers have been said at churches across the country, while the Queen and senior members of the Royal Family held a private service in Windsor Castle.

In his Easter Sunday sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey gave thanks for the Queen Mother's life.

He said: "Our thoughts and prayers this morning are with the entire Royal Family, but especially with the Queen, who has lost first a sister and now a much-loved parent in a matter of weeks."

Family gathering

The Duke of York as well as daughters Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie have returned from their holiday in Barbados and are now at Windsor.

Also with the Queen is the Princess Royal, her husband Timothy Laurence and her two children Zara and Peter, and the Earl and Countess of Wessex.

The Queen Mother as a young woman
BBC News Online looks back over the remarkable life and times of the Queen Mother

Tributes have continued to pour in, with Australian prime minister John Howard saying the Queen Mother had embodied the old fashioned values of patriotism, stoicism and commitment to family.

British troops serving in Afghanistan gathered for a service of remembrance at Bagram airbase.

Following a period of family mourning - possibly lasting five days - the Queen Mother's coffin will be moved to Westminster Hall in central London, so the public can pay their respects.

It has been reported that Princess Margaret's ashes will be interred with the Queen Mother's coffin, in the George VI Memorial Chapel at Windsor.

Margaret's funeral, six weeks ago, was the last public appearance of the Queen Mother.

Condolence books

Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace and Clarence House, the Queen Mother's official London residence, are providing a focus for public mourning.

People began arriving at Windsor on Sunday bearing bunches and baskets of flowers and other floral tributes.

The castle and its grounds have been closed to the public as a mark of respect, but will open as normal at 0945 GMT on Monday

Official books of condolence have opened at St James's Palace in London, Holyroodhouse Palace in Edinburgh, Sandringham House visitor centre at the royal estate in Norfolk and at Cardiff City Hall.

She was the backbone of our nation. Her quiet dignity and resilience will always be remembered

Joanna Nelson, UK
Two books of condolences are due to open in Belfast on Wednesday, at City Hall and Craigavon Civic Centre.

Some or all are expected to stay open until the day before the "ceremonial funeral" is held, in about eight days' time.

Following Saturday's announcement of the Queen Mother's death, Tony Blair led the tributes with a statement from his official country residence at Chequers in which he said the whole nation joined with the Queen and Royal Family in mourning.

"During her long and extraordinary life, her grace, her sense of duty and her remarkable zest for life made her loved and admired by people of all ages and backgrounds, revered within our borders and beyond," he said.

The BBC's Mike Embley
"World leaders have being paying tribute"
Archbishop of Canterbury Dr George Carey
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Queen"

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31 Mar 02 | UK
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