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Throngs cheer Queen Mother on her 100th birthday

queen
Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother appears at the main gates to Clarence House on Friday before taking the Salute on her 100th birthday  

LONDON (CNN) -- Early-morning rain gave way to bright sunshine Friday as Britain's Queen Mother led a procession from her home at Clarence House to Buckingham Palace along a street thronged by adoring subjects celebrating her 100th birthday.

Tens of thousands of people from all parts of the globe gathered outside Buckingham Palace for a close-up view of celebrations marking the centennial of Britain's favorite royal.

Accompanied by her grandson, Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother travelled in an open carriage adorned with yellow and blue flowers -- her racing colors.

The Queen Mother's daughters, Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Margaret, and other relatives appeared on the palace balcony for a 41-gun salute before a private luncheon celebration with 30 members of her family.

Among the first to take a prime vantage point along The Mall leading to the Palace was Clarence Mayberry -- who is just three weeks old.

  IN DEPTH SPECIAL
graphic
Britain's Queen Mother turns 100


 
  MESSAGE BOARD
 

His parents, Lee and Jennifer Mayberry, from Texarkana in Texas, had arrived at daybreak to get their special view of the pageantry.

Mayberry, 31, who wore a tartan kilt for the occasion, said: "It is important for young people to look up to her and her values and the way she treats life in general.

"It is a very important time in Clarence's young life and we hope to be able to show him the significance of it when he is older."

Early risers take key vantage points for celebrations

Other early risers taking a premier view point were a group of Girl Guides from Calgary in Canada, who sold 56,000 cookies and recycled ten tons of telephone directories just to wish the Queen Mum a happy birthday.

Ten girls aged between 13 and 17 and two guide leaders were in position six hours before the noon ceremony.

The Queen mother with her young family
The war-time Queen with her young family, including the future Queen Elizabeth II, second from left  

They became immersed in royal birthday fever when told about the occasion some three years ago and have been planning the trip ever since.

Kristyn Adams, 13, said: "Seeing someone that old in such great condition and in good health is really wonderful. She wasn't only the Queen of England -- she was Queen of Canada too."

Her friend Heather, 14, said: "We are to be seeing the Queen Mother, but we are rather hoping we will also see Prince William and Prince Harry."

Birthday wishes for the Queen Mother have been pouring into Clarence House, reaching the rate of 15,000 to 20,000 cards a day, Post Office officials say.

She has also received a special card from the Queen, who traditionally sends birthday wishes to everyone in the UK who turns 100, containing an additional personal message.

Many Britons remember the Queen Mother as Queen Elizabeth, consort of King George VI during World War II when the UK endured heavy bombing and years of deprivation.



RELATED STORIES:
Pageantry and pomp as the Queen Mother turns 100
August 3, 2000
Britain's 100th birthday bash for Queen Mother has pomp, history
July 19, 2000
Britain's Prince William celebrates 18th birthday
June 21, 2000

RELATED SITE:
The British Monarchy


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