Queen Mum to Attend Margaret's Funeral

02/14/2002 at 01:00 PM EST

From all appearances on Thursday, Britain's 101-year-old Queen Mother Elizabeth is preparing to attend her younger daughter Margaret's funeral on Friday, reports Reuters, in spite of the matriarch's advanced age and the cold she has long been unable to shake. The news service says that, with her son-in-law Prince Philip seeing her off, the frail Queen Mother was whisked via a scarlet-liveried helicopter from the royal retreat at Sandringham (in eastern England) to Windsor Castle (west of London), making the journey in just 45 minutes -- as opposed to the three hours a road trip would require. Only on Wednesday, says Reuters, an ambulance was called to Sandringham after the Queen Mother hurt her arm in a fall in a sitting room. Speaking to reporters in Dublin about the incident, Prince Charlessaid of his grandmother: "She is all right, thank you. She's very resilient." As reported in the new issue of PEOPLE magazine (available Friday), Margaret's death last Saturday, at the age of 71, after a series of strokes, has been met with a subdued reaction in the U.K., and public mourning has been minimal. (A far cry from the way Princess Diana's death froze the nation in 1997.) A small, private service is scheduled for Friday at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle -- the 50th anniversary of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth's and Margaret's father, King George VI. In a characteristic break with royal tradition, Margaret expressed a wish to be cremated and to have her ashes placed in St. George's Chapel, near her father's tomb.

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