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Tuesday, 2 April, 2002, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Solemn journey for royal cortege
The Queen Mother's coffin arriving in London on Tuesday afternoon
The coffin passes Buckingham Palace
The Queen Mother's coffin is at St James's Palace in London after being driven from Windsor.

A crowd of more than 1,000 onlookers stood by as six pall bearers carried it into the Queen's Chapel at the palace.

A short prayer service was led by the Dean of the Chapels Royal, the Bishop of London, and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester visited to pay their respects.

The Queen Mother's coffin will remain at the chapel until Friday, when a ceremonial procession involving 1,700 servicemen and women will see it taken the mile to Westminster Hall, where it will lie in state.

Mourners

The coffin left the Royal Chapel in Windsor, where it has been since the Queen Mother's death on Saturday, at around 1200 BST (1100GMT) in a hearse which carried it along the A4 and through west London.

 Queen's Piper Jim Motherwell
Queen's Piper Jim Motherwell plays out the coffin
Accompanied by police outriders, it passed by Hyde Park, Constitution Hill, travelled along the Mall and past Buckingham Palace.

Mourners lined the route in the city, some silently bowing their heads or crossing themselves and others applauding as the cortege passed.

Members of the Queen Mother's staff at Royal Lodge accompanied the coffin from the chapel, led by the Queen's Piper Jim Motherwell in acknowledgement of the Queen Mother's Scottish roots.

  Click here for route details

At Buckingham Palace members of the public joined staff from the royal households to catch a glimpse of the coffin on its way to St James's Palace.

Midwife Rebecca Townsend, 51, of Hackney, east London said: "She was a wonderful woman, who symbolised the traditions of Great Britain."


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

On Friday the coffin will be moved to Westminster Hall on a gun carriage drawn by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

The funeral is currently planned to be a Royal ceremonial funeral, with protocol dictating that state funerals are reserved for heads of state.

But Parliament and the prime minister could still award the accolade to the Queen Mother.

Grandsons' vigil

Already, there will be a break from tradition when the Princess Royal walks in procession behind the coffin.


She represented the fact that no matter what station or what rank we may hold, human kindness is universal

It has also been reported that the Queen Mother's four grandsons - the Prince of Wales, Duke of York, Earl of Wessex and Lord Linley - may stand vigil over the coffin at St James's Palace on Thursday night.

Prince Charles is understood to have requested to accompany the Queen Mother's coffin after the funeral on its journey to her final resting place in Windsor.

He has also cancelled all his official engagements until after the funeral, St James's Palace announced on Tuesday.

Flags have been flying at half-mast across the country and at embassies abroad.

The London Flower Show, which was due to be held next Tuesday, has been cancelled as a mark of respect.

The show had been organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, of which the Queen Mother has been patron since 1937.

Special forms of service have been approved by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York for use by clergy commemorating the life of the Queen Mother.

'Stoical'

The public will be able to pay their respects when the coffin is lying-in-state at Westminster Hall on 5 April (1400 to 1800 BST), and from 6 to 8 April (0800 to 1800 BST).

Most senior members of the Royal Family have been staying at Windsor Castle, but they may move to Buckingham Palace later on Tuesday.

The Queen is said to be coping "stoically".

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 ON THIS STORY
HRH Prince Charles
"To me she meant everything"
The BBC's Jane Hughes
"Senior members of staff travelled with the Queen Mother's body"

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See also:

02 Apr 02 | UK
A sad return to London
01 Apr 02 | UK
Prince's tribute in full
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