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On 30 March 2002, at 15:15 (GMT), the Queen Mother died in her sleep at the Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park, with her surviving daughter, Queen Elizabeth II, at her bedside. She had been suffering from a cold for the last four months of her life. She was 101 years old, and at the time of her death was the longest-lived member of the royal family in British history. This record was broken on 24 July 2003, by her last surviving sister-in-law Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, who died aged 102 on 29 October 2004.

Elizabeth grew camellias in every one of her gardens, and before her flag-draped coffin was taken from Windsor to lie in state at Westminster Hall, an arrangement of camellias from her own gardens was placed on top. More than 200,000 people over three days filed past as she lay in state in Westminster Hall at the Palace of Westminster. Members of the household cavalry and other branches of the armed forces stood guard at the four corners of the catafalque. At one point, her four grandsons Prince Charles, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Viscount Linley mounted the guard as a mark of respect known as the Vigil of the Princes—an honour bestowed only once before, at the lying in state of King George V.

On the day of her funeral, 9 April, the Governor General of Canada issued a proclamation asking Canadians to honour her memory that day. In Australia, the Governor-General read the lesson at a memorial service held in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney. In London, more than a million people filled the area outside Westminster Abbey and along the 23-mile (37 km) route from central London to her final resting place beside her husband and younger daughter in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. At her request, after her funeral the wreath that had lain atop her coffin was placed on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, in a gesture that echoed her wedding-day tribute 79 years before

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