DEAD: Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother (aged 101)
Queen consort of King George VI, mother of Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon (4 August 1900 – 30 March 2002) was the wife of King George VI and the mother of Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. She was Queen of the United Kingdom and the Dominions from her husband’s accession in 1936 until his death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter. She was the last Empress of India.

DEATH: On 30 March 2002, at 15:15 (GMT), the Queen Mother died in her sleep at the Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park, with her surviving daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, at her bedside. She had been suffering from a cold for the previous four months. At 101 years and 238 days old she was the longest-lived member of the royal family in British history. Her last surviving sister-in-law Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, exceeded that, dying aged 102 on 29 October 2004.

Elizabeth grew camellias in every one of her gardens, and before her flag-draped coffin was taken from Windsor to lie in state at Westminster Hall, an arrangement of camellias from her own gardens was placed on top. An estimated 200,000 people over three days filed past as she lay in state in Westminster Hall at the Palace of Westminster.Members of the household cavalry and other branches of the armed forces stood guard at the four corners of the catafalque. At one point, her four grandsons Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Viscount Linley mounted the guard as a mark of respect—an honour similar to the Vigil of the Princes at the lying in state of King George V.

On the day of her funeral, 9 April, the Governor General of Canada issued a proclamation asking Canadians to honour Elizabeth’s memory that day. In Australia, the Governor-General read the lesson at a memorial service held in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney.

In London, more than a million people filled the area outside Westminster Abbey and along the 23-mile (37 km) route from central London to Elizabeth’s final resting place beside her husband and younger daughter in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. At her request, after her funeral the wreath that had lain atop her coffin was placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, in a gesture that echoed her wedding-day tribute 79 years before.

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