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Tuesday, 9 April, 2002, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
Poignant farewell to Queen Mother
Prince Charles walked behind his grandmother's coffin
Prince Charles walked behind his grandmother's coffin
The Queen Mother's coffin has made its final journey from Westminster Abbey to Windsor where she will be laid to rest alongside her beloved husband King George VI.

More than a million people lined the 23-mile route of her funeral cortege, many throwing flowers onto the road as the black hearse carrying her coffin passed by.

  Click here for full audio and video coverage

It followed a funeral service at the abbey where the Archbishop of Canterbury paid tribute to the Queen Mother's gifts of "strength, dignity and laughter".

Queen Mother
Millions silently remembered the Queen Mother across the UK
As he spoke, the Prince of Wales appeared to be on the brink of tears. The Queen listened intently with her head bowed.

Dr George Carey told the congregation from around the world that the Queen Mother was like the sun "bathing us in her warm glow".

He said the fact that hundreds of thousands of people had come to pay their respects as she lay in state at Westminster Hall in London was testament to her life.

You can shed tears that she is gone or you can smile because she has lived

Poem from funeral service
"We come here to mourn but also to give thanks, to celebrate the person and her life - both filled with such a rich sense of fun and joy and the music of laughter," he said.

As many as 35 members of the Royal Family, and dignitaries including America's first lady Laura Bush and several Commonwealth leaders, attended the service.

Many have done excellently but you exceed them all

Dr George Carey quoting Proverbs
A poem by an unknown author on the Order of Service helped set the tone of thanksgiving for the Queen Mother's 101 remarkable years.

It read: "You can shed tears that she is gone or you can smile because she has lived.

"You can close your eyes and pray that she'll come back or you can open your eyes and see all she's left."

Silent tribute

The Queen Mother had been borne by gun carriage from Westminster Hall to the abbey - the scene of her wedding, her coronation and now her funeral.

Nine senior members of the Royal Family walked solemnly behind the coffin in a military procession of impressive pageantry.

Mourners threw flowers as the hearse passed by
Mourners threw flowers as the hearse passed by
Prince William, 19, and 17-year-old Prince Harry were in their great-grandmother's funeral cortege with their grieving father, Prince Charles, and aunt, the Princess Royal.

The Duke of Edinburgh led the royal mourners who also included the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, Viscount Linley, 40, and Peter Phillips, the Princess Royal's 24-year-old son.

They passed thousands of ordinary people, many of whom had queued since dawn to pay their last respects.

Queen Mother's funeral
  • More than one million people lined the funeral route
  • Her funeral service was attended by 2,100 guests
  • The Queen Mother will be laid to rest alongside her husband George VI

      Full order of service

  • Tony Kearns, 60, from Winsford, Cheshire was proudly sporting medals awarded to his father in the Second World War.

    He said: "I may have been crying today as she went past but I am not grieving for her because you can't grieve for a lady who had such a life and meant so much to this country and for so many people."

    As the abbey rang to the sound of the choir, across the UK people marked the start of the service at 1130BST with two minutes' silence.

    The poignant sound of Westminster Abbey's Tenor Bell counted down the minutes to the nation's final farewell.

    The Queen says she has been moved by the nation's warmth
    The Queen has been moved by the nation's warmth
    The bell tolled every minute, once for each year of her life, as thousands gathered outside the abbey to listen to the service on loudspeakers.

    The Last Post was sounded as the funeral drew to a close and the Queen Mother's coffin began its final journey to Windsor, accompanied by her grandson Prince Charles.

    At 1800BST on Tuesday, the Queen Mother's closest relatives will say their final farewells in a private service at St George's Chapel.

    Her coffin will be laid to rest alongside her late husband and the ashes of her daughter Princess Margaret.

    The BBC's Jennie Bond
    "The crowds waited to say a final farewell"
    Archbishop of Canterbury Dr George Carey
    "We gather in this great Abbey to mourn and to give thanks"
    The BBC's Daniel Sandford
    "The United Kingdom paused to remember a Queen who played a role in so many lives"
    See also:

    09 Apr 02 | UK
    Tributes across the nation
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