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Monday, 1 April, 2002, 15:00 GMT 16:00 UK
Prince's tribute in full
Charles and Queen Mother
Charles and his grandmother shared a close bond
Prince Charles has spoken movingly of his "magical" grandmother, the Queen Mother, to whom he was "utterly devoted". Here is the full text of his tribute.



"I know what my darling grandmother meant to so many other people.

"She literally enriched their lives and she was the original life enhancer, whether publicly or privately, whoever she was with.

"And, in many ways, she had become an institution in her own right; a presence in the nation and in other realms and territories beyond these shores.


She was quite simply the most magical grandmother you could possibly have

Prince Charles

"At once indomitable, somehow timeless, able to span the generations; wise, loving, and an utterly irresistible mischievousness of spirit.

"An immensely strong character, combined with a unique natural grace, and an infectious optimism about life itself.

"Above all she understood the British character and her heart belonged to this ancient old land and its equally indomitable and humorous inhabitants who she served with panache, style and unswerving dignity for very nearly 50 years.

Queen Mother and baby Charles
Charles was the first grandchild and remained her favourite

"I know too, what she meant to the whole of my family, particularly to the Queen for whom she was always such a stalwart and sensitive support ever since my grandfather died when he was just two and a half years older than I am now.

"For me she meant everything.

"I had dreaded this moment along with countless others.

"Somehow I didn't think it would come.

"She seemed gloriously unstoppable and, since I was a child, I adored her.

Prince and Queen Mother
Charles admired his grandmother's 'infectious optimism'

"Her houses were always filled with an atmosphere of fun, laughter and affection, and I learnt so much from her of immense value to my life.

"Apart from anything else, she wrote such sparklingly wonderful letters and her turn of phrase could be utterly memorable.

"Above all, she saw the funny side of life and we laughed until we cried - oh, how I shall miss her laugh and wonderful wisdom born of so much experience and an innate sensitivity to life.

"She was quite simply the most magical grandmother you could possibly have, and I was utterly devoted to her.

"Her departure has left an irreplaceable chasm in countless lives but, thank God, we are all the richer for the sheer joy of her presence and everything she stood for."

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