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2000: Queen Mother celebrates centenary
Celebrations have been taking place all over the United Kingdom to mark the 100th birthday of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

The Queen Mother is the first member of the Royal Family to reach her centenary and she is said to be quietly "very pleased indeed" to have achieved such a landmark birthday.

Sacks full of presents and cards have been delivered to Clarence House, the Queen Mother's home in London.

And during Her Majesty's traditional appearance outside her home this morning the Queen's personal postman, Tony Nicholls, made one extra special delivery - a hand-written telegram from Buckingham Palace.

The Queen Mother was among 12 centenarians around the country to be celebrating today.

Later, accompanied by her favourite grandson Prince Charles, the Queen Mother made her way to Buckingham Palace in a horse-drawn carriage adorned with blue and gold flowers.

More than 40,000 well-wishers gathered in the Mall to watch the Queen Mother and her two daughters step onto the balcony of the Palace. They were soon joined by the rest of the Royal Family.

And it was not just in London that this special occasion was celebrated.

A 21-gun salute was fired from the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, from Hillsborough Castle in Northern Ireland and from Cardiff City Hall.

At St Paul's Church, in Walden, Hertfordshire, where the Queen Mother was christened nearly a century ago the bells were rung.

At Glamis Castle in Scotland, where she spent most of her childhood, a special bagpipe rendition was played.

And at Glorious Goodwood today, a race was especially named after the Queen Mother to mark her birthday.

This evening, the Queen Mother and her daughters, attended a performance by the Kirov Ballet at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.

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Queen Mother and Royal Family on Buckingham Palace balcony
Four generations of the Royal Family greeted the crowds

The Queen Mother out lives other British kings or queens

In Context
The Queen Mother died at Royal Lodge, Windsor at 1515 GMT on Saturday 30 March, 2002, aged 101.

On Friday 5 April three generations of the Royal Family joined a grand procession carrying the Queen Mother's coffin through London to Westminster Hall.

The Queen Mother lay in state at Westminster Hall for four days, during which time tens of thousands of mourners filed past her coffin to pay their final respects.

She was finally laid to rest alongside her husband King George VI, in St George's chapel, Windsor, on Tuesday 9 April.

The Queen Mother left her entire estate, worth an estimated 70m, to her only surviving daughter, the Queen, who did not have to pay any inheritance tax.

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