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Sunday, 31 March, 2002, 17:18 GMT 18:18 UK
Queen Mother's funeral date set
Pallbearers carry Queen Mother's coffin
Pallbearers carried the coffin to the Royal Chapel
The Queen Mother's funeral will take place in Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 9 April, Buckingham Palace has announced.

For four days before the funeral, her body will be laid in state at Westminster Hall for the public to pay their respects.

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

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Her coffin was carried to the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park on Sunday, where the Royal Family gathered at 1730BST for an evensong service.

The Prince of Wales flew back to the UK with Princes William and Harry after cutting short a skiing holiday in Switzerland.

The coffin will rest at Windsor until Tuesday, when it will be taken to the Queen's Chapel at St James's Palace in central London.

Then on Friday morning, the coffin will be carried in a ceremonial procession to Westminster Hall, where it will lie in state from Friday afternoon until the evening of Monday, 8 April.

Family vault

The ceremonial - not state - funeral will be held at 1130 BST on Tuesday.

Afterwards, the coffin will travel by road to Windsor for a private committal service and interment at St George's Chapel.

The Queen Mother will then be laid to rest alongside her husband in the George VI Memorial Chapel at St George's.
The Queen Mother as a young woman
BBC News Online looks back over the remarkable life and times of the Queen Mother

  Click here for in depth coverage

She will also be buried with the ashes of Princess Margaret, which will be taken from the Royal Vault at St George's and interred in the memorial chapel at the same time.

The Queen Mother requested there be no official memorial service.

On Sunday, the coffin dressed in the Queen Mother's standard and with small wreath on top, was received at the Royal Chapel at Windsor by her chaplain Canon John Ovenden.

He led a short service including the Lord's Prayer before the Royal Family arrived for evensong.

Public guidance

A period of national mourning is now being held until the funeral.

Following discussion with the Royal Family, the government has issued guidance for the public observance of the mourning period.


She was the backbone of our nation

Joanna Nelson, UK

E-mail your tributes here
Flags on all public buildings will be flown at half mast until midnight on 9 April.

Sporting fixtures will go ahead, but players in major games will wear black armbands and hold a minute of silence before the start.

Theatres and cinemas may mark the mourning period in some way, such as playing the national anthem or observing a period of silence.

Schools are expected to remain open but it has been suggested headteachers may consider adjusting school timetables to allow pupils and staff to watch the funeral on television.

Special prayers for the Queen Mother were said at churches across Britain on Sunday.

In his Easter Sunday sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr George Carey 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."

Across the country, and the commonwealth, people have been paying tribute to the Queen Mother. Some queued to sign books of condolence, others laid flowers at the royal palaces.

Marian Russell, 59, of West Hampstead, north London brought flowers and a candle to leave at Buckingham Palace as a mark of respect.

She said: "I saw the Queen Mother three or four times in my lifetime and she was a beautiful, grand old woman who did so much for this country."

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.

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

  Click here to read tributes

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's George Eykyn
"Playing a prominent role will be the King's Troop"
The BBC's Nicholas Witchell
on the Queen Mother's long and eventful life
Archbishop of Canterbury Dr George Carey
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Queen"

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