BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: UK
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

The BBC's Jennie Bond
"The Queen Mother acknowledged the good wishes of the congregation"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 11 July, 2000, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
Thousands in tribute to Queen Mother
Four generations of Royals attended the celebration
Rare sight of four Royal generations together
Four generations of the Royal Family have gathered at St Paul's Cathedral to mark the Queen Mother's 100th birthday.

Watched over by her grandson, the Prince of Wales, and two of her great-grandchildren, Prince William and Prince Harry, she made a grand entrance into the historic cathedral.

Thousands gathered for the service of thanksgiving and celebration, which is one of the events to formally mark her 100th birthday on 4 August.

It is no accident that in families across the land, you are known simply as the 'Queen Mum'

Dr Carey

After a moving service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr George Carey, she emerged on the steps of St Paul's to wave to wellwishers, some of whom had travelled from abroad to see her.

Moving tribute

In his address, Dr Carey said the Queen Mother had entered into the hearts of the British people.

"And your own heart has been open to them ever since," he told her.

He said her popularity had grown through abdication and war, and thanked her for her "public service and devotion to duty".

"As a child of both the East End and the Blitz, allow me to say your own face grew still more loved as a result," he said.

The Queen Mother arrives at St Paul's
Generation after generation: Arriving at St Paul's

"Surely, it is no accident that in families across the land, you are known simply as the 'Queen Mum'."

Virtually the entire Royal Family attended together with several foreign kings and queens, political leaders, friends and representatives of the several hundred charities of which the Queen Mother remains patron.

Also among the 2,500 guests were other centenarians from all over the country who share the Queen Mother's 100th birthday year.

Prime Minister Tony Blair was present along with other leading politicians and diplomats.

Royal honour

Among the centenarians joining in the celebration was former missionary Walter Leach, from Somerton in Somerset, who celebrated his own 100th birthday in June.

St Paul's Cathedral
Celebrating 100 years of life: St Paul's was full
Mr Leach, who now works as a stained-glass maker, said: "I am so pleased to have been invited.

"We have a wonderful Royal Family. I am sure they do a tremendous amount for people we don't even hear about."

The celebratory service included some of the Queen Mother's favourite hymns and readings, and she led a royal procession from the cathedral.

Commons address

Later in the House of Commons, the prime minister opened what is known as a humble address to celebrate the Queen Mother's 100th birthday.

He praised her zest for life, compassion, strong faith, sense of fun and contribution to the nation.

"Today, Her Majesty remains at the centre of the Royal Family's life and work, important to every generation - and as a mother, grandmother and great grandmother, bringing stability and continuity to our monarchy," said Mr Blair.

"We wish her health and happiness and we offer, from this House, our heartfelt greetings and gratitude at this very special time."

Tory leader William Hague followed the prime minister's tribute, saying the soon-to-be centenarian "radiated warmth, charm and dignity".

"The Queen Mother's 100th birthday is an occasion to unite the entire nation and people across the entire Commonwealth that has always meant so much to her," he said.

And leader of the Liberal Democrats, Charles Kennedy, described her as both "a beacon and an inspiration" to all.

St Paul's royal guest list

  • Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh
  • Princess Margaret, with Viscount and Viscountess Linley
  • Duke of York, with daughters Princess Beatrice, 11, and Princess Eugenie, 10
  • Princess Royal, with son Peter Phillips, 22
  • Earl and Countess of Wessex
  • Duke and Duchess of Gloucester
  • Duke and Duchess of Kent
  • Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, with Lord Frederick Windsor, 21, and Lady Gabriella Windsor, 19
  • Princess Alexandra and Sir Angus Ogilvy

    Foreign royals

  • King Albert and Queen Paola of Belgium
  • King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway
  • Grand Duke Jean and Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte of Luxembourg
  • Ex-King Constantine and Queen Anne-Marie of Greece
  • Ex-King Michael and Queen Anne of Romania
  • Prince Carlos Hugo of Bourbon Parma

  • Search BBC News Online

    Advanced search options
    Launch console

    See also:

    14 May 00 | UK
    Stamps are a family affair
    23 Apr 00 | UK
    Royal Easter parade
    27 Jun 00 | UK
    City toasts Queen Mother
    04 Jul 00 | UK
    The minted Royals
    Internet links:

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

    Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.

    E-mail this story to a friend

    Links to more UK stories