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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Britain Lays Queen Mother to Rest

LONDON -- Kings, queens and royalty from around the world mourned the Queen Mother at her funeral Tuesday in ancient Westminster Abbey as huge crowds stood outside, honoring a woman beloved for her kindness and dedication to duty.

In a centuries-old burial service, bishops and priests gave thanks for the life of the Queen Mother Elizabeth, saying that she gave royalty a smiling face even in the darkest days of World War II.

"In gratitude we bid farewell to a greatly loved queen, for her grace, humanity and sympathy, for her courage in adversity, for the happiness she brought to so many," said the Very Reverend Wesley Carr, Dean of Westminster.

Massed choirs in red and white chanted prayers as the congregation of 2,100 mourners led by Queen Elizabeth II and her family prayed for the Queen Mother in the abbey.

Police said some 400,000 people stood outside the abbey or along the funeral route, many singing the hymns as the service was broadcast over loudspeakers from the abbey.

The 13th-century abbey's great Tenor Bell rang 101 times before the funeral to mark the age of the Queen Mother, echoing across the surrounding squares and streets crowded with mourners.

The Queen Mother's coffin was carried to the abbey on a gun carriage pulled by six black horses of the Royal Horse Artillery. The same gun carried the coffin of her husband King George VI at his funeral in 1952.

Princes Philip, Charles, Andrew and William, along with most of the senior members of the royal family, many in uniforms, walked silently behind the coffin as it was taken to the abbey. The Queen, in a simple black dress, greeted her mother's coffin at the abbey.

Leaders and representatives from across the world attended. Some 25 foreign royals, including the monarchs of Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and royals from Asia and the Middle East, attended, along with U.S. first lady Laura Bush and the leaders of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and representatives of many other countries.

After the funeral, a cortege took the coffin to Windsor Castle for the private burial of the Queen Mother in a chapel alongside her husband, King George VI, who died in 1952. Prince Charles accompanied the coffin.

The ashes of the Queen Mother's youngest daughter, Princess Margaret, who died a few weeks before her mother at the age of 71, also were to be interred there.