25 FEBRUARY 2009 There was an atmosphere of celebration in the air on Wednesday as members of the royal family came together to pay tribute to the Queen Mother at the inauguration of a monument dedicated to her memory.
Adding a special detail to the London ceremony the Queen, who was particularly smartly turned out for the poignant occasion in a fawn top coat and matching hat, was wearing the shell-shaped diamond and pearl brooch her mother wore on her 100th birthday.
It was a day filled with emotion and elegance in equal measure. Also present were Prince William and Harry and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, taking advantage of the warmer spell to wear a sophisticated sleevless grey dress. Royal grandaughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie were also there, along with Princess Anne, who had flown in from Australia.
In his speech Prince Charles, the driving force behind the £2 million memorial, paid tribute to the woman he described as "my darling grandmother". He said: "All of us will miss her vitality, her interest in the lives of others, her unbounded courage and determination… her steadfast belief in the British people and her irresistible, irrepressible sense of mischievous humour."
The 9ft 6in statue depicts the Queen Mother at 51 - her age when her beloved husband George VI died. It stands below his memorial on The Mall near Buckingham Palace. The main figure of the royal matriarch, wearing the robes of the Order of the Garter, is flanked by bronze reliefs.
Scenes shown include the Queen Mother during WWII when she earned the love and admiration of Britain by refusing to leave London with her children. Other friezes depict her at the races at Ascot and relaxing in her garden at the Castle of Mey in Caithness with two of her corgis.