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British Cardinal pays tribute to Queen Mother

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, spiritual leader of Catholics in England and Wales, has paid tribute to the Queen Mother, calling the British Royal Family's 101 year old matriarch "a great and gracious lady".

"The Queen Mother bore the virtues so beloved by the British people of courage and steadfastness, and especially through the Second World War in the role of Queen Consort," he said. "She will be greatly missed".

Catholic peer, Lord St John of Fawsley, a close friend of the Queen Mother for many years, said she had brought encouragement to the nation.

"She carried the traditional values of the nation - courage, determination, dedication, a profound sense of duty and a love of family and friends," he said.

"We have lost our most treasured national person. She was not merely an historical figure. She was history...

"At our darkest hour of all time in 1940 she helped to turn it into our finest."


2 Apr 2002