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Monday, 8 April, 2002, 23:19 GMT 00:19 UK
Grandsons' tribute to Queen Mother
The Queen Mother's grandsons pay their tributes
The four grandsons bowed their heads in tribute
The Queen Mother's four grandsons have staged a silent vigil around the four corners of her coffin in Westminster Hall in London.

Monday's solemn tribute by Princes Charles, Andrew, Edward and the late Princess Margaret's son, Viscount Linley, was reminiscent of another royal vigil, on the same spot at Westminster Hall, for King George V in 1936.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles: Adored his grandmother
The Prince of Wales wore the dress uniform of a Rear Admiral and the Duke of York that of a Royal Naval Commander.

The Earl of Wessex, who left the Royal Marines, and Lord Linley, who also does not hold military rank, were clad in black morning coats.

Other members of the Royal Family stood in the background as the grandsons took their positions around the 7ft-high catafalque, past which more than 100,000 public mourners have filed.

Family presence

The flow of public mourners was briefly halted as the grandsons took their places.

Other Royals present included Charles's sons Princes William and Harry, the Princess Royal and her husband Timothy Laurence, her son Peter Phillips and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

Prince Charles's companion Camilla Parker Bowles was also there.

Princes William and Harry paying their respects
Princes William and Harry paying their respects
At the end of the grandsons' vigil they were replaced by four members of the Queen's Bodyguard of the Yeomen of the Guard.

The Prince of Wales later paid a second visit to Westminster Hall to pay further respects to his grandmother.

Charles quietly slipped in to the Great Hall and stood on the VIP dais at around 2300 BST.

Dressed in a black suit and black tie, he spent around 20 minutes in sombre silence as he looked over his grandmother's coffin.

The Duke of Kent and his family later paid their respects in Westminster Hall.

The vigil came just before the Queen addressed the nation in a special television and radio broadcast which was recorded earlier in the day at Windsor Castle.

She paid tribute to her "beloved mother" and said she had been deeply moved by the outpouring of affection from the nation.

'Magical grandmother'

The Queen Mother enjoyed an extremely close relationship with all her grandchildren, who have spoken moving of their "wonderful grandmother".


The lying-in-state has been a sombre tribute
Queen Mother's funeral
  • More than 150,000 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

  • The Prince of Wales said she had served the UK with "panache, style and unswerving dignity" for nearly 80 years.

    "Somehow I never thought [her death] would come. She seemed gloriously unstoppable, and ever since I was a child I adored her," he said in an emotional TV address last Monday.

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

    Prince Andrew echoed his sentiments saying: "We each had an individual and unique relationship with our grandmother. She was very, very special."

    Prince William and Prince Harry have also paid warm tributes to their great-grandmother's sense of fun.

    The princes said the Queen Mother "had a young sense of humour", even impersonating Ali G at a family dinner.

    The Queen's message has set the tone for Tuesday's Westminster Abbey funeral service which, although a sad and solemn occasion full of pageantry, is an opportunity to celebrate the Queen Mother's 101 years.

    More than 500,000 people are expected to have paid tribute to her by the time she is finally laid to rest early tomorrow evening at Windsor, alongside the body of her late husband King George VI and the ashes of her daughter Princess Margaret.

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