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1952: King George VI is laid to rest

VIDEO : The King's coffin leaves Sandringham for final journey

King George VI has been buried at St George's Chapel on his Windsor Castle estate.

The King passed away in his sleep at the age of 56 on 6 February after 16 years on the throne, following the abdication of his brother Edward Windsor (King Edward VIII) in 1936.

Crowds began to gather in London in the early hours of this morning for the solemn procession through the capital's streets - closed to traffic from 0800 GMT.

And for the first time thousands more people were able to witness the event on television.

Shortly after 0900 GMT the funeral party - including the new Queen Elizabeth - arrived at Westminster Hall, where over 300,000 people paid homage to the King's body as it lay in state for three days.

The bells toll

The cortege - of foreign royalty, heads of state and the armed forces - began its dignified progress through London at 0930 GMT as the first of Big Ben's 56 chimes began.

Dressed in black, the Queen, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret and the Princess Royal were in the first carriage.

They were followed on foot by the Dukes of Edinburgh, Gloucester and Windsor in dress uniform and the young Duke of Kent in formal mourning wear.

The coffin was draped in the red, blue and gold of the Royal Standard.

The Imperial State Crown, the Gold Orb, the Sceptre, the insignia of the Order of the Garter and a white wreath from the Queen Mother were placed on top.

George VI's mother, Queen Mary, watched from Marlborough House.

The funeral party arrived at Paddington to the refrain of Chopin's Funeral March and the royal train left for Windsor at 1220 GMT.

After a brief service at St George's Chapel the United Kingdom and Commonwealth observed two minutes' silence at 1400 GMT to mark the final passing of their war-time monarch.

In Context
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, was only 51 when she was widowed. She lived to be 101.

Royal biographers note a significant period of adjustment between the young Queen Elizabeth - just 25 when she acceded - and her mother.

In February 2002 Elizabeth II opened a 1.2m Macmillan cancer ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, near the Sandringham estate where George VI had died of lung cancer 50 years earlier.

In 2002 the Queen enjoyed a year of celebrations and special visits to commemorate 50 years on the British throne.


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