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Friday, 8 November, 2002, 09:19 GMT
Queen's tears for war dead
Queen at Remembrance service
Tears rolled down the Queen's cheeks at the service
The Queen was visibly moved as she took on her late mother's role at the opening of the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.

Tears rolled down her cheeks during a minute's silence after she planted a small wooden Remembrance Cross.

Queen in remembrance field
The Queen stood in silence with veterans
The annual open-air service in St Margaret's churchyard, held in memory of Britain's war heroes, was rarely missed by the Queen Mother.

The emotional service followed a difficult week for the Queen after the collapse of the trial of former royal butler Paul Burrell and the publication of his memoirs in a daily newspaper.

Dressed in black, she was accompanied by Sara Jones, widow of Falklands war hero Colonel H Jones, who has been awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross.
Open in new window : Veterans of Empire
The "forgotten" soldiers tell their stories

There were also prayers said for world peace at the brief ceremony, held in the presence of hundreds of war veterans.

The Queen, who rarely shows emotion, then planted her own personal Cross of Remembrance.

Field of crosses
A field of crosses remembered the dead

Following the minute's silence, there was a walkabout around the churchyard to inspect some of the 19,000 crosses from all over the country which pay tribute to the fallen.

Only last November, the Queen Mother took part in the ceremony for the last time prior to her death in March.

Ron Wickens, 80, from Burgess Hill, Sussex, and formerly of the Royal Sussex Regiment, said: "It must have been very difficult for her, it's all memories for her. She was very brave."

Old soldiers reminisce
Hundreds of soldiers joined the Queen
Tim Healey, 54, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, said: "I told her how my father was in air-sea rescue and my mother was a WAAF.

"I showed her my father's medals and she wished me the best of luck."

After the walkabout, the Queen attended a short service in St Margaret's Church.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's George Eykyn
"The Queen was visibly moved"

In remembrance

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