February 15, 2002 11:00 AM

Britain’s 101-year-old Queen Mother Elizabeth joined her elder daughter, Queen Elizabeth, and members of the royal family at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle on Friday for a low-key funeral paying tribute to Princess Margaret, 71, who died after a stroke last Saturday. Reuters reports that among the 400 people present at the private ceremony were Margaret’s children, Lord Linley and Lady Sarah Chatto, her ex-husband, the society photographer Lord Snowdon, and her former boyfriend, landscape gardener Roddy Llewellyn. Lady Sarah was red-eyed and seemed devastated by the occasion, said the news service. Wearing a black coat with a white flower in her black hat, the Queen Mum remained in a wheelchair throughout the service. The Queen and Margaret’s two children watched in silence as the coffin was loaded into the hearse, which was then accompanied by two kilted bagpipers as it left Windsor Castle for a nearby crematorium. The princess had requested that no members of her family should witness the cremation. Ironically, the service coincided with the 50th anniversary of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth’s and Margaret’s father (and the Queen Mum’s husband), 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 final resting place. The BBC termed Margaret’s decision to be cremated “not unknown in royal history, but certainly unusual.”

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