The new millennium brought new changes and challenges to the Queen and the royal family—including the loss of two close members of Elizabeth II’s family.
Nearly five years after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the royal family found itself in mourning once again. This time, they felt the loss of a dear mother and sister, who had formed a strong royal trio since the days of the Queen’s accession in 1952.
Just a few months earlier, the family had gathered for a milestone birthday celebration. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother celebrated her 101st birthday at Clarence House in London on August 4, 2001. She was joined by her daughters, as well as her grandchildren and great-grandchildren for the celebration.
The Queen Mum wore several favorite pieces of jewelry, including a triple strand of pearls, her diamond floral earrings, and Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Brooch, for the birthday celebration.
But about six months later, celebration turned to remembrance. On February 9, 2002, Princess Margaret died. She had not been in good health for some time, but she had made one of her final public appearances at the Queen Mother’s birthday celebration the previous August. And then, on March 30, 2002, the Queen Mother passed away in Windsor. Two of the Queen’s most important confidantes and supporters were gone within a period of only seven weeks.
Princess Margaret’s funeral was held at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor on February 15, 2002. The private service was attended by family and friends.
For the private service, the Queen wore the City of London Lily Brooch. Interestingly, it’s the same one she wore for the Queen Mother’s 101st birthday celebrations (pictured near the top of this article).
By contrast, the late Queen Mother was memorialized with a grand ceremonial funeral in London. The pattern of her funeral followed the same general order that we’ve seen happening in the city this week. On April 5, 2002, the Queen Mother’s coffin was taken in procession to Westminster Hall, where she lay in state for several days. The Queen Consort’s Crown that had been made for her in 1937 was placed atop the coffin. (We discussed that crown in detail in a recent article.)
Just as the royal family did yesterday, they accompanied the coffin on its journey to Westminster Hall and participated in a short service on arrival. The Queen, who often wore pieces from her collection of diamond and pearl ribbon brooches for memorial occasions, wore the Dorset Bow Brooch for the Westminster Hall service. The jewel was one of Queen Mary’s wedding gifts. Mary gave it to the Queen as a wedding present in 1947.
On April 9, 2002, the Queen Mother’s funeral was held at Westminster Abbey, with the entire royal family in attendance.
The Queen, pictured here with Prince William and protection officer Richard Griffin, again chose one of her diamond and pearl bow brooches for the service. This time, she wore the Kensington Bow Brooch with its pearl pendant.
The brooch is another jewel that belonged to Queen Mary. It was given to Mary as a wedding present in 1893. Sixty years later, in 1953, the brooch was inherited by Queen Elizabeth II.