ON THIS DAY    30 March      Graphics version >>   BBC News >>
Search ON THIS DAY by date   
  Go back one day Go forward one day

Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
2002: Queen Mother dies

VIDEO : The BBC's Jennie Bond reports

The Queen Mother has died peacefully in her sleep aged 101, Buckingham Palace has announced.

The Queen was at her mother's bedside when she passed away at 1515 GMT today at the Royal Lodge, Windsor.

The news was announced by Buckingham Palace about two and a half hours later.

Prince Charles, who was especially close to his grandmother, is said to be "completely devastated" and is returning early from a skiing holiday in Switzerland with his sons Princes William and Harry.

Tibutes

Hundreds of people have begun paying their respects for the "fairy tale grandmother" at royal palaces.

Tributes have been flooding in from across the world and from all corners of society.

Prime Minister Tony Blair led the tributes with a statement from his country retreat of Chequers.

"During her long and extraordinary life, her grace, her sense of duty and her remarkable zest for life made her loved and admired by people of all ages and backgrounds, revered within our borders and beyond," he said.

Plans for her mourning and burial - which have been in place for many years - have swung into action.

There will be 10 days of national mourning until a ceremonial funeral at Westminster Abbey at 1130 BST on Tuesday 9 April.

The Queen Mother's coffin will rest at Windsor for three days and then it will be taken to the Queen's Chapel at St James' Palace.

It will be carried in ceremonial procession to Westminster Hall where, after a service, it will lie in state until the eve of the funeral.

It will rest on the same spot where her husband King George VI lay in state in February 1952.

A contingent of Gentleman at Arms and Yeomen of the Guard will guard it round the clock.

The Queen mother will then be laid to rest beside her husband in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.

The ashes of her daughter, Princess Margaret, who died seven weeks ago, will be interred at the same time.

In Context
More than a million people lined the route of The Queen Mother's funeral cortege.

And the poignant pomp and ceremony of the momentous occasion was watched around the world as the popularity of the Royal Family soared.

The Queen Mother's death, coming so soon after Princess Margaret's death, increased public sympathy for the Queen.

It led to a huge swell of support as she celebrated her Golden Jubilee in the summer.

But some bitter rows broke out in the media including criticism of the BBC for not enforcing black attire during initial broadcasts of the death.

And Tony Blair was forced to vehemently deny allegations he had tried to "muscle in" on the funeral to raise his own profile.


Search ON THIS DAY by date   
  Go back one day Go forward one day

Front Page |  Years |  Themes |  Witness
^^ Back to top |