Queen ‘touched’ by support at mother’s funeral says expert
The monarch received a “polite and discreet” applause when she left Westminster Abbey after the devastating funeral. Speaking on Channel 5’s documentary Elizabeth: Our Queen, Robert Lacey, Queen’s biographer, said the moment signalled a “transfer of affection” from the Queen Mother to the Queen.
He said: “It was a mass popular moment of emotions when perhaps the cycle after the death of Diana swung decisively in the monarchy’s favour.”
Echoing his words, Royal expert Hugo Vickers added: “There was this very polite, very discreet clapping.
“It almost symbolised the transferring of affection from one great matron to another.
“And I that the Queen was very touched by that.”
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The Queen suffered the loss of her younger sister, Princess Margaret, and the Queen Mother in quick succession in 2002.
When faced with the prospect of holding a funeral for her mother, Her Majesty was warned public participation could be minimal due to her relationship with Britons still recovering after the death of Princess Diana nearly five years earlier.
Speaking to Channel 5’s documentary ‘The Queen’s Speeches: In Triumph & Tragedy,’ former spin doctor Alastair Campbell admitted the Government had been concerned about the impact past backlash would have on the Queen Mother’s last goodbye.
Mr Campbell, who was part of Number 10’s media team when both the Princess of Wales and the Queen Mother died, said: “I can remember at one of my morning meetings, there was a discussion about just how much we thought the public would engage in this.”
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But despite concerns about the public not wanting to pay tribute to the Queen Mother, hundreds of people headed to London to say goodbye at Westminster Hall.
Reacting to the overwhelming response from the British public, the Queen delivered a rare message to the nation thanking everyone for the “love and respect” they had shown to her late mother in both life and death.
Mr Campbell continued: “She talked about things that were deeply personal but in a way that was designed to reflect and relate to the fact that other people had those feelings at times of death and grieving as well.
“There are few things that are emotional to people than the loss of a mother.”
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The special speech was delivered from Windsor Castle, believed to be one of Her Majesty’s favourite residences as well as the final home to the Queen Mother.
Royal commentator Emily Andrews noted the location of the filming was in itself a tribute to the late Queen.
Ms Andrews said: “It’s filmed at Windsor Castle and the Queen Mum was living at that time at Royal Lodge.
“In fact, in the background of the shot to the left of the Queen is the Long Walk going out of Windsor Castle. If you go straight down the Long Walk, you’d have ended up at the Queen Mother’s house.”
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