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Tuesday, 9 April, 2002, 15:11 GMT 16:11 UK
Windsor witnesses journey's end
Windsor Castle
The cortege arrives at Windsor Castle at 1405 BST

A little boy drops his head as the Queen Mother arrives at her final resting place.

A ripple of applause spreads through the crowd around Windsor Castle as the royal cortege slowly climbs the hill to Henry VIII Gate.

As it rounded the corner into Castle Hill, an old lady was heard to say: "The sun's come out, she must be here."

The hearse carrying the Queen Mother's coffin was followed by a car carrying her grandson Prince Charles, safely seeing his grandmother home.

I will always remember the Queen Mother with a smile and a glint in her eye

Matthew Smith

For Mary Penegar, from Brighton, it marks the end of a lifetime love affair.

She had spent the night waiting outside the castle in the bitter cold, just to catch the shortest glimpse of the cortege.

"Every minute was worth the hours we waited.

"I used to love watching her at Ascot Races in her beautiful hats and clothes. She was just perfect in every way," said the 66-year-old.

'No pomp'

The Queen Mother is being laid to rest beside her husband King George VI, in St George's Chapel in the castle grounds.

Vivian Edlim, 53, of Gerrard's Cross, Buckinghamshire, a Friend of St George's Chapel, joined the crowds to "welcome her home".

"Watching her going by I felt a mixture of sadness and a feeling that she's coming home to lie next to her Bertie."

Carol Huntingdon, 54, of Hayes, Middlesex, described the chapel as a "beautiful, peaceful place."
Frank Jenner, from Manchester
Mourners wait outside Windsor Castle

Earlier, bathed in sunshine and Union Jacks, Windsor had waited patiently for the Queen Mother's arrival.

It was the last leg of a journey that began more than a week ago when the coffin was moved from her home at Royal Lodge to the estate's Royal Chapel of All Saints and then to London.

For many it was a chance to say goodbye away from the pomp and circumstance of Westminster Abbey.

Waiting patiently with his four-year-old daughter Zoe, IT consultant Matthew Smith had arrived at the castle at 0600 BST.

"It was an event I did not want Zoe to miss," he said.

Blitz

"She deserved to be here for this historic day and I'm sure she will remember it."

A marching band from the castle entertained the crowds during the long wait.

And a postman on his bike got a spontaneous round of applause as he cycled down Castle Hill.

Overall though, the mood was sombre and reflective as mourners chatted quietly to each other and listened to the funeral service on radios.
The hearse arrives at Windsor
Windsor greets the cortege

Newsagent AP Souvenir and Gift Shop, in Thames Street by the castle, did a roaring trade in Union Jacks, selling more than 50 in three hours.

As a four-year-old, Sylvia Houghesdon had the Queen Mother to thank for not being evacuated.

Her mother insisted she stay with her family in Southend because Queen Elizabeth had done the same with the little princesses in blitzed London.

Now a grandmother, Mrs Houghesdon, 64, of Burnham, Buckinghamshire, joined the crowds outside Windsor Castle to pay her last respects to "that brave lady".

"It was the least I could do," she said.

"She was wonderful to this country during the war and for 80 years."


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