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Princess Anne attends memorial service for Queen Mother

16 April 2002

The Princess Royal during the memorial service to the Queen Mother at St John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta

The Princess Royal during the memorial service to the Queen Mother at St John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta

Princess Anne yesterday attended an ecumenical memorial service for her grandmother, the Queen Mother, at St John's Co-Cathedral.

The memorial service in the packed church was led by the Archbishop, Mgr Joseph Mercieca and Auxiliary Bishop Annetto Depasquale, assisted by members of the Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter.

The congregation was led by President and Mrs de Marco and included Prime Minister Eddie Fenech Adami and Mrs Fenech Adami, deputy Labour leader George Vella (leader Alfred Sant is presently attending the Convention on the future of Europe), MPs from both sides of the House, members of the diplomatic corps and senior civil servants among others.

In an oration, former President Censu Tabone described the Queen Mother as a distinguished lady who brought to the British Royal family, the British people and all those with whom she came into contact "her loving personality, her unique charm and beauty, her kindness and common touch, her love of family and family life".

Dr Tabone spoke of the Queen Mother's indefatigable support of her husband, her determination to share with her people the perils of war and the toils of the national war effort, as well as her smile and the encouraging words in those difficult years.

Her long and active life had left a positive impression on the British people, members of the Commonwealth and in some respects, far beyond the British Isles.

"She was in many respects an example to womanhood in any station of life," Dr Tabone said.

Participating directly in the memorial service, the Princess Royal read a poem which has no known author and which her mother read at the Queen Mother's funeral.

Following the service the Princess Royal met Prof. de Marco who asked her about the beautiful words in her reading.

The poem

You can shed tears that she is gone

or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she'll be back

or you can open your eyes and see all she's left.

Your heart can be empty because you can't see her

or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday

or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she's gone

or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back

or you can do what she'd want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

Source: Times of Malta, www.timesofmalta.com


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