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Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Fairytale ends in candlelit corner
The gravestone altar and wreaths near the vault of the Queen Mother
St George's Chapel is "understated and dignified"
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By Lisa Mitchell
BBC News Online in Windsor
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One simple word, carved in black marble, marks the final resting place of the Queen Mother - "Elizabeth".

After the pomp and ceremony of the lying-in-state and funeral, the tomb in which her body is interred is quite simple.

Decorated only by three wreaths, the small St George's Chapel is understated and dignified.

Queuing once again in the spring sunshine, the public came to pay their last respects to her at Windsor Castle.

Flowers at Windsor Castle
Mourners read tributes outside the chapel
About 200 people at a time were allowed through tight security into the castle grounds to queue for the entrance to the chapel.

The queue snaked around a mound of floral tributes.

One, from 86-year-old Olive Hayes, from Bagshot in Surrey, read: "Your presence left our world and your absence will depreciate it."

Another, attached to a bunch of roses, simply said: "Your smiling face will be missed."

'Nice quiet place'

Filing silently passed the vault of the chapel, each mourner took a few moments to say silent prayers in her memory.

The only noise was mothers explaining to their children that the Queen Mother had been placed in a tomb with her beloved husband King George VI, together again at last after 50 years.

It sounded like a fairytale, which was ended in a peaceful candlelit corner of one of Britain's most splendid castles.

Windsor Castle
Visitors queued to file past the Queen Mother's vault
After she saw the chapel, eight-year-old Ellie Eustace, from Windsor, said she hoped she too would be buried alongside her husband in a "nice quiet place".

Her mother Jo, 36, said the tomb was "intimate and personal".

"It was romantic in a way", she added.

June Jordan, who had brought a group of students from Kingston College in Surrey, said she had found the visit quite moving.

"For such a grand place, it's an intimate, almost cosy chapel," she said.

Pat Evitt, a nursery owner from Ascot, said she had felt moved to visit the chapel after watching the scenes over the last few days.

Mrs Evitt, 59, said: "She did a tremendous amount for this country when she was alive, but even after her death she has brought everyone together.

"I had to come and thank her."


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