Queen Mother Dies
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother died in her sleep at Royal Lodge Windsor on March 30 2002 at the age of 101. Many mourned her passing as the end of an era and the loss to the nation of a great character, a link with some of Britain’s most testing days.
Seven weeks earlier she had endured something no parent would wish to suffer, the death of one of her own children, Princess Margaret .
After the Queen Mother’s death the machinery of royal protocol swung into action: her coffin remained at Windsor for three days, thence to St James’s Palace, Westminster Hall, a funeral at Westminster Abbey presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and interment at St George’s Chapel in Windsor. More than a million people were said to have lined the route of the cortege.
The machinery that takes care of royal finances likewise operated after her death. Her huge overdraft at Coutts was taken care of; the Queen met her mother’s considerable debts amassed from a lifestyle of extravagance harking back more to 19th century Russia than 21st century Britain: champagne at £300 a bottle; 60 servants at Clarence House (described by her half a century previously as “this horrid little house”) and 40 more spread around her other homes – Glamis Castle , The Castle of Mey, Walmer Castle and Birkhall in the grounds of Balmoral . And the Queen inherited her mother’s property without troubling the taxman..
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