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Details of the Queen Mother's funeral

The funeral service will be held at the historic Westminster Abbey
The funeral service will be held at the historic Westminster Abbey  


LONDON, England -- The First Lady of the United States, Laura Bush, will join foreign dignitaries and royalty from around the world for the Queen Mother's funeral.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that 25 foreign royals are expected to attend the funeral service in Westminster Abbey, London, on Tuesday.

Up to 35 members of the British Royal Family will also be among a congregation of more than 2,000.

The Queen Mother's coffin will be carried to the historic abbey to the sound of 128 pipers while the abbey's Tenor bell will be tolled every minute for 101 minutes -- echoing the years of the Queen Mother's life.

Queen Mother
1900~2002

  

With military precision, the procession will leave through the North Door of Westminster Hall, where her coffin has laid in state since Friday, at 11.18am (1018 GMT) for the short journey to the Abbey's Great West Door.

Nine senior members of the Royal Family will walk behind the coffin to the abbey.

The Duke of Edinburgh will be accompanied by the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, Prince William, Prince Harry, Viscount Linley and Peter Phillips, the Princess Royal's son.

America's First Lady will be accompanied by Ambassador William Farish and former Ambassador Ann Armstrong, a spokesman at the United States Embassy in London told the Press Association.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien will also be at the Westminster Abbey service.

Among the foreign royalty will be Princess Muna of Jordan, Prince Albert of Monaco, King Constantine of Greece, the King and Queen of Norway, King Juan Carlos of Spain and the Sultan of Brunei.

Also among the guests is expected to be Camilla Parker Bowles, the Prince of Wales's partner and a friend of the Queen Mother.

A Buckingham palace spokeswoman said: "She knew the Queen Mother well over the years and it is therefore appropriate that she should come."

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, the Archbishop of York, Dr David Hope, and the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, will all take part in the service, with the Dean of Westminster, Dr Wesley Carr.

Camilla Parker Bowles will join the congregation
Camilla Parker Bowles will join the congregation  

A poem, read to the British nation by the Queen Mother's late husband, King George VI at the outbreak of war in 1939, will be recited during the service.

The poem, The Gate of the Year which was read by the King in his 1939 Christmas Broadcast, is also inscribed on the gates of the George VI Memorial Chapel in Windsor where the Queen Mother's body will be interred.

Much of the rest of the funeral service was chosen or approved by the Queen Mother long before she died.

Following the service, pall bearers from the Irish Guards will again carry her coffin, surmounted by her diamond-encrusted crown, to the same horse-drawn gun carriage which took her body to Westminster Hall for her lying-in-state on Friday.

A flight of vintage Spitfires, Hurricanes and Lancasters will fly over Buckingham Palace and The Mall as the coffin is taken on its final journey from the capital to Windsor.

The Queen Mother's body will be interred at St George's Chapel, Windsor, early on Tuesday evening.

Only close family members will be at the private committal service and interment.

Preparations are already under way at Windsor for interment in the George VI Memorial Chapel within St George's Chapel in the Castle precincts.

The Queen's wreath to her mother will be placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey
The Queen's wreath to her mother will be placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey  

The black marble grave stone, covering the entrance to the vault, has been removed and is being inscribed by stone masons with the legend "Queen Elizabeth 1900-2002."

The dates of King George VI "1895-1952" are being added to the stone which was previously only inscribed with his name.

The body of the Queen Mother will be laid to rest alongside her husband who died 50 years ago.

The ashes of their daughter, Princess Margaret, who died two months ago, will also be placed in the vault.

The day after the funeral service, on Wednesday, the Queen's wreath to her mother will be placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster Abbey.

This reflects a spontaneous gesture by the Queen Mother on her wedding day at the Abbey, when she placed her bouquet on the tomb.