Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Queen Mother 1900-2002; in Brief

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Queen Mother 1900-2002; in Brief

Article excerpt

Mourners queue at palace to sign books of condolence THOUSANDS were expected to come to St James' Palace today to sign books of condolence. The books will remain open every day until the funeral on Tuesday next week.

The queue of mourners at the palace yesterday was often 100 yards long as they patiently waited their turn.

Among them was one of the last surviving Battle of Britain pilots who had come to pay his respects to the wartime Queen.

Londoner Ricky Graham, 80, said: "The thing I saw most of was London burning. But we all thought that the royal family were our rallying point.

They were the people we had to guard from the air, as it were.

"They symbolised Britain. And I thought that the Queen Mother was Britain's greatest leader.

She was highly respected. After the King died she was our 'Mum'. Today we've lost something who can't be replaced by anyone else."

Politics on hold as Lords and Commons pay tribute

THE LORDS and the Commons will be recalled tomorrow for three hours of tribute to the Queen Mother, led by Tony Blair and Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith. The Prime Minister will delay his departure on Friday for a two-day summit with President George Bush in Texas to allow him to attend the lying-instate at Westminster Hall. The visit is to go ahead after consultation with the Palace. Mr Blair is scheduled to return on Monday, in time for the funeral the following day. Most political activity has been put on hold until the funeral is over.

The Conservatives have cancelled this week's plans to launch their campaign for the local elections in May.

St Paul's bells ring out for four hours of remembrance THE BELLS of St Paul's Cathedral were rung for four hours in a half-muffled full peal yesterday in remembrance of the Queen Mother. It was the first time it had happened since Sir Winston Churchill's death in 1965.

The Queen Mother's coffin is to be adorned with the crown she wore at the coronation of her husband King George VI in 1937. …

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