LONDON (AP) - The Queen Mother Elizabeth, a symbol of courage and dignity during a tumultuous century of war, social upheaval and royal scandal, died Saturday in her sleep, Buckingham Palace said. She was 101 years old.
After years of frailty and ill health, the Queen Mother died "peacefully in her sleep" at Royal Lodge, Windsor, outside London, the Palace said. Her death came seven weeks after the death of her younger daughter, Princess Margaret, at age 71.
Queen Elizabeth II (news - web sites) was at her mother's side when she passed away. The Queen Mother had been rarely seen in recent months because of her failing health.
"Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother had become increasingly frail in recent weeks following her bad cough and chest infection over Christmas," said a Palace spokesman, who was not named in keeping with tradition.
Britain's main television and radio channels interrupted regular programs with news of the death, which came during the four-day Easter holiday. National figures and ordinary people from all walks of life united in expressing admiration and grief for the Queen Mother.
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