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The Queen Mother (1900-2002): Funeral will have more pomp than for Diana.

The Queen Mother's funeral procession will stretch for half a mile and involve 1,600 servicemen and women.

In terms of pomp and ceremony, it will be bigger than the royal funeral for Diana, Princess of Wales.

The procession, on Friday morning from the Queen's Chapel at St James's Palace to Westminster Hall, will be a military spectacular with troops from four Commonwealth countries as well as Britain.

The Queen Mother's coffin, surmounted by her crown, will be borne on a horse-drawn gun carriage to Westminster where she will lie in state until her funeral the following Tuesday.

Senior Royals, possibly including the Princess Royal as well as the principal male members of the family, will walk behind the coffin from St James's to Westminster.

The gun carriage will be drawn by the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery and escorted by military detachments from British and Commonwealth regiments associated with the Queen Mother during her long life.

She was Colonel, Honorary Colonel or Colonel-in-Chief of more than a dozen regiments and units.

As the procession leaves for the medieval setting of Westminster Hall, a 41-gun royal salute will be fired - one salvo every minute - from nearby Green Park.

Along the route, military detachments, including cavalrymen from the Queen's Life Guards, will give royal salutes and there will be a guard of honour in Parliament Square.

The Queen and other members - mainly ladies - of the Royal Family will await the coffin's arrival inside the Palace of Westminster where MPs, members of the House of Lords and many other VIPs, including Commonwealth representatives, will congregate.

The coffin will be received by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, and the Dean of Westminster, Dr Wesley Carr.

Royal officials are working on a proposal for the joint choirs of Westminster Abbey and the Chapels Royal to sing a short psalm as the coffin, shrouded by the Queen Mother's personal standard and adorned by a wreath from the Queen, is carried by pall bearers from the Irish Guards into Westminster Hall.

Black Rod, Lieutenant General Sir Michael Willcocks, will lead the procession into the hall where 50 years ago the Queen Mother's husband, King George VI, was carried to the same spot to lie in state.

After prayers, the Queen Mother's body will lie in state from Friday until the morning of the funeral on Tuesday April 9. On the morning of the funeral, the coffin will be taken from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service. The coffin will be guarded during the lying in state by Her Majesty's Body Guard of the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, by the Queen's Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard, by the Royal Company of Archers, the Queen's Body Guard for Scotland, and by Officers of the Household Division.

Officers from the Household Cavalry will mount the first vigil.

The procession from the Queen's Chapel to Westminster will be led by mounted police followed by Royal Air Force Bands and South African troops from the Witwatersrand Rifles, Transvaal Scottish and Cape Town Highlanders.

Next in line will be the Royal New Zealand Army Medical Corps, Royal Australian Army Medical Corps, Canadian Forces Medical Services, Toronto Scottish Regiment and Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada.

British troops from the RAF, 1st Battalion Scots Guards, Royal Marines Band and Royal Marines, Royal Navy and Foot Guards Bands will follow.

Male members of the Queen Mother's personal staff and senior household members, including private secretary Captain Sir Alastair Aird, will walk in the procession.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Apr 2, 2002
Words:591
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