Appendix E

Britain's Queen Mother Dies at 101

By Emma Ross
Associated Press Writer
Saturday, March 30, 2002; 3:16 PM

LONDON The Queen Mother Elizabeth , a symbol of courage and dignity during a tumultuous century of war, social upheaval and royal scandal, died Saturday in her sleep. She was 101 years old.

After years of frailty and ill health, the queen mother died "peacefully" at Royal Lodge, Windsor , outside London , Buckingham Palace said. Her death came seven weeks after the death of her younger daughter, Princess Margaret , at age 71.

Queen Elizabeth II  was at her mother's side when she died. The queen mother had rarely been seen in recent months because of her failing health.  

The queen mother "had become increasingly frail in recent weeks following her bad cough and chest infection over Christmas," said a palace spokesman, who was not named in keeping with tradition.  Prince Charles  and his sons Princes William  and Harry  were "completely devastated" after being informed of the news on their skiing holiday in Switzerland , a royal spokesman said. Charles was very close to his grandmother.  Britain 's main television and radio channels interrupted regular programs with news of the death, which came during the four-day Easter holiday. National figures and ordinary people from all walks of life united in expressing admiration and grief for the queen mother.

The queen mother's body was expected to be moved to the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor Great Park on Sunday morning. Funeral plans were expected to be announced in the next few days.  Scores of mourners, some bearing flowers, gathered outside Windsor Castle after hearing the news. They stood at the castle gates, quietly talking among themselves. The bells of the nearby St. John the Baptist church tolled to mark the queen mother's death.

She's like everybody's grandmother," said Sheila Livingstone , who left a bunch of flowers at the castle gates.  Prime Minister Tony Blair  said the queen mother was a symbol of Britain 's "decency and courage" and the whole nation would join with the royal family in mourning her death.

"During her long and extraordinary life, her grace, her sense of duty and her remarkable zest for life made her loved and admired by people of all ages and backgrounds, revered within our borders and beyond," he said.  Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher  said the queen mother was "a wonderful queen and an extraordinary person."  "Her death is more than a source of grief to the royal family. It is an irreplaceable loss to the whole nation," she said.  The queen mother was as popular at the end of her life as she had been a half-century before.

She was best known to younger generations as the mother of Queen Elizabeth II  and grandmother of Prince Charles . Remarkably sprightly despite her age, the queen mother was a fixture at royal occasions, delighting in mixing with the public and greeting people who flocked to meet her.

She helped restore confidence in the throne during unhappiness and scandals in the royal family during the last years of her life, as three of her four grandchildren divorced. The divorce of Princes Charles  from Princess Diana  and her death in 1997 in a car crash in Paris shook the British monarchy to its core amid widespread anger that the popular princess had been spurned by the royal family.

The unflagging respect for Elizabeth  dated back to World War II, when alongside the public she endured German bombs raining down on London , visiting shattered homes.  The queen mother underwent extensive surgery in 1995 and 1998 for hip replacements, and in 2000, fell and broke her collarbone. Until a few months ago, she continued a regular schedule of public appearances that would have daunted a much younger person. When her health became very frail, she sometimes appeared in public on an electric cart that was christened the "queen mum mobile."

While admired for her dignity and sense of duty, the queen mother was also revered for enjoying life. She relished horse racing, social gatherings and was known to enjoy a drink.

The queen mother might have been expected to retire from public life when her husband, King George VI , died in 1952. But after their eldest daughter's succession to the throne, she took a new title, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother , and a full load of royal duties, which she carried into her 90s, delighting in meeting people from all walks of life.

The former Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon , daughter of a Scottish earl, was married in 1923 to Prince Albert , Duke of York , second son of King George V .  They had two daughters, Elizabeth  and Margaret Rose , and lived quietly until 1936. The duke's elder brother succeeded to the throne that January as King Edward VIII , and by mid-December had abdicated to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson .  The Duke of York took the throne as King George VI , a reluctant monarch whom many believed unsuited to the job.