Final preparations for royal funeral

FINAL preparations are today underway at Westminster Abbey for the Queen Mother's funeral tomorrow at Westminster Abbey.The death of the Queen Mother has provoked the biggest public reaction since the death of Diana Princess of Wales.

FINAL preparations are today underway at Westminster Abbey for the Queen Mother's funeral tomorrow at Westminster Abbey.

The death of the Queen Mother has provoked the biggest public reaction since the death of Diana Princess of Wales.

The first members of the public have already claimed their positions for the funeral procession and are preparing to sleep on the chilly streets of London in order to witness this sad but historic moment.

The Queen Mother's favourite traditional English summer garden flowers will adorn the Abbey and yesterday arrangers were working on displays of sweet smelling, pastel-shaded flowers comprising of more than 2,000 individual blooms.

The boy choristers have also been rehearsing in Westminster Abbey for the service for what is set to be the challenge of their lives.

More than 500,000 people will have paid tribute to the Queen Mother by the time she is finally laid to rest early evening at Windsor, alongside the body of her late husband King George VI and the ashes of her daughter Princess Margaret.

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People wishing to pay their respect queued for up to eight hours in the cold wind yesterday.

Later today the Queen will address the nation from Windsor Castle with a eulogy for her mother.

The royal address is also expected to thank the thousands of people who have queued around the clock to pay their respect at the Queen Mother's coffin as it lies in state in Westminster Hall.

Also today, at about 4pm,the Queen Mother's four grandsons – Charles, Andrew, Edward and David, Viscount Linley – will mount a solemn vigil at their coffin.

They are expected to perform a 20 to 30 minute Vigil of the Watch, as members of the public continue to file past the coffin.

The Prince of Wales will then return to the Highland home where they spent many happy days together.

Late tomorrow night, just hours after committing the Queen Mother's body to a royal tomb at Windsor, the Prince will fly to Scotland and Birkhall, his beloved grandmother's Balmoral residence.

The Queen Mother's funeral service begins at 11.30 am when her coffin will be solemnly carried through the Great West Door of the Abbey.

The funeral service will be relayed on loudspeakers along The Mall and outside Westminster Abbey on North Green.

Hymns will include Immortal Invisible, God Only Wise, and Guide Me Oh Thou Great Redeemer.

A requiem Mass for the Queen Mother will be celebrated at St Mary at the Elms Church, Elm Street, Ipswich, tomorrow at 1.10pm.

The service will be conducted by Revd Peter Hinchey, the parish's assistant priest and will include prayers for the soul of Her Majesty. The service will last about 30 minutes.

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