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Tuesday, 9 April, 2002, 23:56 GMT 00:56 UK
'A beautiful and touching ceremony'

The funeral captured the Queen Mother completely - strength, dignity and laughter.

She was a paradoxical woman in that she was the grandest of the royals, but also perceived as the most approachable - a staunch traditionalist who imitated Ali G.

The most enduring image of the mourning period was the four grandsons standing vigil around their grandmother's coffin - an extremely moving sight.

The service was beautiful and touching - rich in pageantry. She would have enjoyed the ceremonial.

Emotional prince

To make it a celebration of her life was a difficult transition, particularly when you look at the grief etched on the face of Prince Charles. It will take a little longer for those who were close.

They were absolutely devoted to one another, shared the same sense of humour and thoroughly enjoyed one another's company.

When he was a boy and his mother was away frequently, granny played a very big part in his life.

The funeral was a very sombre occasion, Charles is a very emotional man and his grief was going to show.

But he is thinking of all the happy times and all the laughs they had.

Queen Mother
Millions silently remembered the Queen Mother across the UK
While I am not really surprised a lot of people turned up, nearly a million is surprising.

But to put it in the context of her 100th birthday, she did not think many people would come - and 40,000 came.

So we should not be unduly surprised a million wanted to pay tribute to her.

The Queen Mother was a woman who had earned her place in history, a million people wanted to make sure she claimed that place.

When the crowds caught sight of the coffin there was a very sombre mood.

Around that people were just chatting about the Queen Mother and all the happy memories of her.

Public support

Clearly it does strengthen the monarchy.

I don't think it is going to change any republican views, but her legacy to her daughter in the immediate term is that the Queen is going forward with a very great measure of public support.

I think there is a determination at the palace. Before the Queen starts her Jubilee tour, they have properly mourned the Queen Mother and want to move forward to celebrating her life and it is entirely correct to go ahead.

Young mourner
Old and young mourned the Queen Mother
The Queen Mother very much wanted to live to see that Jubilee go ahead.

The mourning was handled extremely well by the palace, in sharp contrast to the way things have been handled in the past.

Every day there seemed to be a member of the Royal Family being human, being normal, not being aloof.

People haven't understood why the Royal Family has remained aloof at times of crisis and times of illness.

It was important responding to the public mood, but it was an extremely different situation to Diana's death.


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09 Apr 02 | UK
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