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Monday, 8 April, 2002, 15:30 GMT 16:30 UK
Queen to tell nation of grief
People filing past Queen Mother's coffin
An estimated 160,000 have seen the lying-in-state
The Queen is to address the nation on the eve of the Queen Mother's funeral.

She is expected to thank the public for its tributes to her mother in a television and radio address recorded at Windsor Castle on Monday afternoon and broadcast at 1800 BST.

While revealing her sadness at the loss of her mother, the Queen will also give thanks for the 101-year-old's long and eventful life.

The news of her address comes as thousands queued up again at Westminster Hall for a chance to file past the Queen Mother's coffin as it lies in state.

Westminster Hall
Guards will be replaced by princes for a special vigil
Queen Mother's funeral
  • More than 100,000 have already paid their respects
  • Tuesday's funeral will be attended by 2,100 guests
  • The coffin will move to Westminster Abbey at 1118 BST for an ecumenical service

      Find out more

  • After Sunday's four-mile long line of people, some of whom waited 12 hours to get inside, it was estimated 160,000 had filed past by Monday afternoon.

    Some members of the public have already claimed vantage points for the funeral itself.

    The Queen's address will set the tone for Tuesday's funeral at Westminster Abbey, where solemn pageantry will be tempered by a celebration of the Queen Mother's achievements.

    At approximately 1745 BST (1645 GMT) on Monday, princes Charles, Andrew and Edward will join Viscount Linley in mounting a vigil over their grandmother's coffin inside Westminster Hall, as members of the public continue to file past.

    They will echo history in a poignant ceremony reminiscent of a royal vigil, on the same spot at Westminster Hall, for King George V in 1936.

    Military uniforms

    The 20 to 30 minute vigil by the Queen Mother's four grandsons will echo that of George V's four sons - Edward, Albert, Henry and George - who stood guard around his coffin.

    The Prince of Wales will wear the dress uniform of a rear admiral and the Duke of York that of a Royal Navy commander.

    Funeral timetable
    0600 BST Westminster Hall closes
    1030 BST Main congregation seated
    1118 BST Royal procession along abbey's centre aisle
    1130 BST Service begins
    1225 BST Service ends
    1235 BST Cars leave for Windsor in slow procession
    1350 BST Coffin interred in St George's Chapel, Windsor

    Both will rest both hands on their swords and all four grandsons will stand silently with their heads bowed.

    The Earl of Wessex, who left the Royal Marines, and Princess Margaret's son Viscount Linley, who does not hold military rank, will wear black morning coats.

    On Sunday, the Duke of York and his daughters Eugenie and Beatrice visited the queues and volunteers to thank them for their tributes.

    Although the funeral will be less spectacular than Friday's ceremonial procession, when 400,000 people lined the streets, very large crowds are expected.

    The conduct of the those paying their respects has been praised by a senior Army officer involved in the funeral preparations.

    Colonel Hamon Massey, Commander Household Cavalry, said the "understated" grieving had reinforced the relevance of the Royal Family to contemporary Britain.

    Two-minute silence

    The service will be relayed on loud speakers along The Mall and outside Westminster Abbey on North Green.

    The funeral will begin just five hours after the end of public viewing of the Queen Mother's coffin.

    The tenor bell at Westminster Abbey will toll every minute for 101 minutes before the service, which will be co-celebrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, the Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor.

    More than 2,500 police will be on duty for the event in a huge security operation to protect the Royal Family and other VIPs.

      Click here for full audio and video coverage

    Many shops and businesses will close on Tuesday, including the John Lewes group, which runs Waitrose supermarkets, and leading betting shops.

    The National Trust is closing all its houses, shops and restaurants, but will open its gardens and landscape parks free of charge.

    There will be a two-minute silence in many offices and shops at 1130 BST (1030 GMT) to mark the beginning of the funeral.

    Afterwards, a procession to Windsor will begin with a fly-past tribute by two Spitfires and Britain's only remaining airworthy Lancaster bomber, as the cortege moves up The Mall.

    Officials have warned Westminster Hall has to close at 0600 BST on Tuesday to allow funeral preparations to begin and some people are likely to be disappointed.

    The BBC's Jennie Bond
    "The queues again stretched for as far as the eye could see"
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