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The Queen leads royal mourners at funeral of Countess Mountbatten of Burma

The Countess was godmother to Prince Charles and cousin of Prince Philip

by Ainhoa Barcelona

The Queen was joined by members of the royal family as she attended the funeral of Countess Mountbatten of Burma on Tuesday. The 91-year-old monarch was greeted by her eldest son, Prince Charles, who planted a kiss on her hand as they met outside St Paul's Church in Knightsbridge, London. The Queen was accompanied by her husband Prince Philip, 96, and her daughter-in-law the Countess of Wessex. Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, the Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, Prince Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra made up the party.

The royals were seen arriving at the church for the service at 3pm, which lasted roughly an hour. The Countess' wicker casket, which was decorated simply with white flowers, was carried in by 12 members of Canadian regiment 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry. The Countess had been their Colonel-in-Chief. During the service, Prince Charles gave an address to around 500 members of Patricia's friends and family, paying tribute to his "very special godmother".

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Prince Charles greets his mother the Queen at Countess Mountbatten's funeral

The Countess was 93 when she passed away at home in Mersham, Kent on 13 June, surrounded by her children. Countess Patricia was a first cousin to the Queen's husband and godmother to Prince Charles. At the time, the Prince of Wales paid tribute to his godmother in a heartfelt statement that read: "I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of my very special godmother, Lady Mountbatten, whom I have known and loved ever since I can first remember. She played an extremely important part in my life and I shall miss her presence most dreadfully." A Buckingham Palace spokesperson added that the Queen and Prince Philip "privately passed on their condolences". The Countess was buried in Mersham following Tuesday's service.

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Sophie Wessex made up the royal party

Patricia had a very close relationship with the British royal family. She and her younger sister, Lady Pamela Hicks, would often play with the future Queen and Princess Margaret, and when Patricia married Lord Brabourne in 1947, Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, Lady Pamela and Princess Alexandra of Kent acted as her bridesmaids. Lady Patricia and Lord Brabourne went on to have eight children together before his death in 2005.

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The Queen pictured arriving at St Paul's Church in Knightsbridge

Her life was devastated in 1979 when the IRA blew up the family's boat in Co Sligo. Her father, Earl Mountbatten, mother-in-law, the Dowager Lady Brabourne and her 14-year-old son Nicholas Knatchbull were all killed instantly, as was 15-year-old boat boy Paul Maxwell. Nicholas' twin brother, Tim, survived with severe injuries. Lady Mountbatten was pulled from the water, and needed 120 stitches to her face, which she later referred to as "my IRA facelift".