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Grandsons' vigil for Queen Mother

The Queen Mother's four grandsons stand at the corners of the coffin.  

LONDON, England -- The four grandsons of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother -- Charles, Andrew, Edward and David Linley -- have mounted a solemn and silent vigil at her coffin.

The four stood with their heads bowed at the four corners of the purple catafalque bearing the Queen Mother's coffin in Westminster Hall on Monday afternoon.

Other members of the Royal Family -- including Charles's sons Princes William and Harry, and Prince Charles's companion Camilla Parker Bowles -- stood in the background as the vigil took place.

The flow of public mourners past the coffin was briefly halted as the grandsons took their places. It resumed after a number of police officers took up positions around the vigil.

Hundreds of thousands of people will have paid their respects by the time of her funeral on Tuesday.

On Monday evening, thousands were still queuing at Westminster Hall, which will remain open through the night, closing at 6 a.m., just hours before the funeral.

Queen Elizabeth II pays thanks for tributes paid following the death of her mother (April 8)

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Queen Mother


She will be buried alongside the body of her late husband King George VI and the ashes of her daughter Princess Margaret. (Details of funeral)

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II gave a televised address to the nation on Monday with a eulogy for her mother.

The Queen paid tribute to her mother, who died March 30 aged 101, and thanked all those who had waited for up to 12 hours to pay their respects. (Full text)

She remembered her mother's "infectious zest for life," and said tributes paid to the royal family following her death had been "overwhelming."

"At the ceremony tomorrow, I hope that sadness will blend with a wider sense of thanksgiving," she said.

"I thank you also from my heart for the love you gave her in life, and the honour you now give her in death."

Monday's royal vigil was reminiscent of a ceremony mounted for George V, 66 years ago, also in the medieval setting of Westminster Hall, when his sons -- Edward, Albert, Henry and George -- stood guard around the late King's coffin.

The Prince of Wales was wearing the dress uniform of a Rear Admiral and the Duke of York that of a Royal Naval Commander.

The Earl of Wessex, who left the Royal Marines, and Princess Margaret's son Viscount Linley, who also does not hold military rank, wore black morning coats.

Some 400,000 people lined the route of the Queen Mother's funeral procession through London on Friday and since then members of the public have queued almost non-stop at Westminster Hall.

Large crowds are also expected to turn out on Tuesday morning for the funeral procession from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey.

The funeral service will be relayed on loud speakers along The Mall and outside Westminster Abbey on North Green.

Princes William and Harry, second and third from the right, stood in the background with other members of the Royal Family.
Princes William and Harry, second and third from the right, stood in the background with other members of the Royal Family.  

The queue to see the Queen Mother lying in state reached its longest so far on Sunday, stretching three miles. Around 3,000 people were filing past the coffin each hour.

The Duke of York, with his daughters Princess Beatrice, 13, and Princess Eugenie, 12, visited people queuing and said he was "overwhelmed" by the number of people paying their respects to his grandmother.

The first members of the public have claimed vantage points for the Queen Mother's funeral procession, preparing to wait on the streets for more than 48 hours.


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