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Queen Mum Celebrates 101 - 2001-08-04

In Britain, it was a birthday party fit for a queen - a queen mother that is, a much loved royal who just happens to be 101 years old.

When you are Britain's oldest and favorite royal and you reach your 101st birthday, there is only one thing to do. Celebrate! And that is exactly what about 7,000 admirers from near and far did as well. They lined up outside of her official residence, Clarence House in London, to catch a glimpse of the royal known affectionately here as the Queen Mum.

"She is a very sweet lady," said one fan.

"She is just always so friendly and she will always have a word with you and she always thanks you nicely for whatever you give her," said another.

"I am a hillbilly, so this is my best chance of ever seeing any royalty up close until I am invited for tea, of course," added another admirer.

Just a couple of days after receiving a blood transfusion to combat an anemic condition, the Queen Mother of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II smiled and looked in good shape.

She received flowers from children and then she got into a golf buggy, known as the Queen Mum mobile, and slowly moved along the crowd, chatting along the way. One of her famous Corgi dogs tagged along as well.

The Queen Mother then was whisked inside Clarence House for a birthday luncheon attended by the entire royal family including her grandson, the heir to the British throne, Prince Charles, who fell off a polo pony on Friday and had to spend the night in the hospital for observation.

The Queen Mother later emerged once again with members of the royal family outside the front gate, much to the delight of her legion of fans.

Although she looked in very good physical shape, former royal press spokesman Dickie Arbiter said she will have to try to scale back some of her public appearances in the future and learn to take life a bit easier. But that will not be easy for her. "She does have a very full program and she will fulfill all the engagements that is humanly possible to do," Mr. Arbiter said.

As a final tribute, members of the royal artillery fired a 41 gun salute in her honor in nearby Hyde Park.

While other members of her extended royal family have fallen in and out of favor over the years in the public's eye, the Queen Mother's popularity has remained constant. And for her admirers, this will be a day to remember.