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Queen delivered heartfelt address to nation on eve of mother’s funeral

PA Reporters
·3-min read

The monarch addressed the nation on the eve of her mother’s funeral to thank the country for their support and the love and honour shown to the 101-year-old.

The Queen said she had been deeply moved by the outpouring of affection and the overwhelming numbers of people paying their respects since the Queen Mother’s death.

The Queen Mother died on March 30 2002 and her funeral took place on April 9 2002 – the last royal funeral to be extensively televised in the UK.

It is not clear whether the Queen will deliver an address to the nation on Friday, the day before the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral.

Speaking from Windsor Castle on the eve of her mother’s funeral, the Queen said in a televised address: “I thank you for the support you are giving me and my family as we come to terms with her death and the void she has left in our midst.”

The Queen during the Queen Mother's funeral at Westminster Abbey
The Queen during the Queen Mother’s funeral at Westminster Abbey (Ben Curtis/PA)

Dressed in black and remaining composed but with sadness, the Queen continued: “I thank you also from my heart for the love you gave her during her life and the honour you now give her in death.”

The Queen also said: “Over the years I have met many people who have had to cope with family loss, sometimes in the most tragic of circumstances.

“So I count myself fortunate that my mother was blessed with a long and happy life.

“She had an infectious zest for living, and this remained with her until the very end.

“I know too that her faith was always a great strength to her.”

An average of 5.1 million people watched BBC One’s coverage of the Queen Mother’s funeral, while 2.7 million watched ITV.

The event took place on a Tuesday morning whereas the duke’s funeral is on a Saturday so may attract a bigger audience.

An estimated 200,000 people filed past the coffin of the Queen Mother over the three days she lay in state at the Palace of Westminster, while the funeral itself had 2,200 guests.

The Queen Mother’s coffin made the short journey from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey on an open carriage, covered in her personal standard.

A wreath of flowers and her crown were placed on top.

The Queen Mother’s coffin being carried from Westminster Abbey
The Queen Mother’s coffin being carried from Westminster Abbey (Toby Melville/PA)

The Queen Mother’s funeral arrangements cost more than £5.4 million.

Policing costs amounted to £4.3 million and the Queen Mother’s lying-in-state came to £825,000, according to a House of Commons research briefing paper.

Plans for Philip’s funeral have had to be scaled back, with public elements of the day removed due to the pandemic, so the cost of his farewell is likely to be substantially less.

Some 11,887 police staff and 1,306 civil staff were deployed from the day of death to the Queen’s Mother’s funeral, a Metropolitan Police report on the cost of policing public order events during 2002 revealed.

Of the £4.3 million policing costs, £2.2 million would have been incurred anyway if staff were assigned to other duties, but £2.1 million were additional costs directly attributed to the funeral arrangements.