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Last Updated: Friday, 18 January 2008, 14:04 GMT
Everest hero to have UK memorial
Sir Edmund Hillary at home in New Zealand
Sir Edmund was awarded the Order of the Garter in 1995
Sir Edmund Hillary, the first climber to scale Mount Everest, is to be honoured at a memorial service at Windsor Castle.

The New Zealander died earlier this month in Auckland at the age of 88.

Buckingham Palace said the Queen had offered his family St George's Chapel for a date to be agreed in April.

The Queen's link with Sir Edmund dates back to the announcement of his Everest ascent on the eve of her coronation in 1953. He was knighted later that year.

'Deeply saddened'

The Queen will be represented by the governor-general of New Zealand, Anand Satyanand, at a state funeral in Auckland next week.

A personal wreath from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will be laid at the lying-in-state before the state funeral.

Sir Edmund Hillary looks at Everest after climbing it in 1953
Sir Edmund was knighted in 1953

The Queen met the explorer several times, the last in New Zealand during the 2002 golden jubilee tour and in the UK at the Garter ceremony in Windsor in 2004.

Following his death, she sent a personal message to the Hillary family saying she was deeply saddened by the news.

Sir Edmund was the first man to climb Everest's 8,850m (29,035ft) peak, with Tenzing Norgay, on 29 May 1953.

However, news of the conquest of Everest did not reach the outside world until 2 June, the eve of the Queen's coronation.

He was knighted by the Queen for his achievement in 1953, and 42 years later was awarded her highest award for chivalry - the Order of the Garter.

SEE ALSO
Obituary: Sir Edmund Hillary
10 Jan 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Life in pictures: Sir Edmund Hillary
11 Jan 08 |  In Pictures
'My Himalayan climb with Hillary'
11 Jan 08 |  Asia-Pacific
Sir Edmund Hillary: Your comments
10 Jan 08 |  Have Your Say
Sir Edmund urges climate care
10 Jul 05 |  South Asia
Hillary laments Everest changes
26 May 03 |  South Asia
Everest half-century celebrated
30 May 03 |  South Asia
In pictures: Everest celebrations
29 May 03 |  Photo Gallery

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