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Britain Remembers the Queen Mother - 2002-04-01

Special tributes were made Monday to Britain's Queen Mother, who died Saturday at the age of 101.

At the stroke of noon local time, in a dozen locations around Britain, 41-gun salutes marked the British military's goodbye to the Queen Mother.

It's the first time the country has seen a salute on this scale since the death of her husband, King George VI, a half century ago.

The Queen Mum, as she was affectionately known here, had a long, strong bond with the armed forces. And many older generation Britons always highly respected her for her bravery and defiance at the height of the blitz of London in 1940, when she traveled to the east end of the capital and comforted citizens.

And it was that common touch that her grandson, Prince Charles, recalled when he made a moving television tribute to her from his country home of Highgrove. "I know what my darling grandmother meant to so many other people," he said. "She literally enriched their lives, and she was the original life enhancer, whether publicly or privately, whoever she was with. And in many ways, I think, she had become an institution in her own right - presence in the nation and in other realms and territories beyond these shores."

More details have come out from the palace about the schedule of events over the next few days. On Tuesday, her coffin will be brought to St. James's Palace in central London, where seven weeks ago, her daughter, Princess Margaret, also lay in state. Then on Friday, her coffin will be carried in a ceremonial procession to Westminster Hall, where it will lie in state until the actual funeral service takes place at Westminster Abbey on Tuesday, April 9.

Until then, flags will remain at half-staff, and books of condolence will remain open.