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Thousands Pay Homage to Queen Mother - 2002-04-05

Thousands in central London have lined the route of the Queen Mother's procession. Her coffin, draped in her royal flag, was moved on a gun carriage from St. James's Palace to nearby Westminster Hall.

In respectful silence, they lined the route; average citizens saying goodbye to the one known here as "the grandmother to the nation."

With all sections of the British military represented and decked out in their finest, the Queen Mother's coffin was moved slowly along the route in a horse drawn gun carriage. It was the same carriage which carried her husband's body, King George VI, a half century ago.

The coffin was draped simply in her royal flag and with her coronation crown and a single wreath of white roses atop. The flowers came from her daughter, the Queen. Attached was a hand written note saying, "In Loving Memory, Lilibet," the Queen's nickname known within the royal circle.

Immediately behind, marched the leading male members of the royal family, and in a break from tradition, Princess Anne.

Up to 10,000 average citizens lined the one kilometer route, a mixture of generations were represented. The Queen then met the procession at Westminster Hall.

Inside, leading political figures and other important guests watched as the coffin was placed on a plinth. Saying a prayer, was the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. George Carey.

"We remember before thee our sister, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. We give thanks for her example of faithful duty and unwearied service. And for the loyalty and love which she inspired," he said.

The Queen Mother's coffin will now lie in state for the next three days. Up to 400,000 are expected to pass by through Monday.

On Tuesday, her funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey. She will then by laid to rest in St. George's Chapel next to her husband on the grounds of her beloved, Windsor Castle.