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Leeds remembers the Queen Mother 15 years after her death

By Kelly Woodward

People of Leeds expressed their fond memories of the Queen Mother, who died 15 years ago today, aged 101.

On March 30, 2002, the nation’s beloved Queen Mother was found dead at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.

Her Majesty was Patron or President of some 350 organisations.

She was Commandant-in-Chief of the Army and Air Force Women’s Services, and for Women in the Royal Navy, and held other Service appointments.

Elizabeth Kerr, a 79 year old resident of Leeds, said: “I can’t believe it’s been 15 years since the Queen Mother died.

“She was a great influence to me and did so much for us women.

“Come to think of it, she was a feminist in times when women were seen as the lower gender.”

The Queen Mother received an honorary Doctor of Law degree from the University of Leeds in 1954.

John Thompson, a 50-year-old resident of Harrogate, said: “I wasn’t even born when the Queen Mother received her honorary degree from the University of Leeds but my late mother often expressed her excitement when the Queen Mother came to Leeds to receive her degree.

“My whole family distinguish themselves as royalists and the royal family really do make a difference to our lives.”

The whole nation mourned her death alongside the death of Princess Margaret who died just seven weeks earlier on February 9, 2002.

Their ashes were laid with those of George VI, the Queen Mother’s husband and King of the United Kingdom. George VI died in his sleep on February 6, 1952.

Elizabeth was given the title of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of York.

Ellen Curtis, a 67-year-old resident of Leeds said: “I feel really proud of saying I’m from Yorkshire as we have great ties with the royal family.

“The Queen Mother was a much loved woman and people from all over the world loved her as much as we did and still do.”

She was famously dubbed the ‘Smiling Duchess’ and was one of the most beloved members of the royal family and her popularity did not die with her.

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