Queen Plans Memorial Service For Sir Edmund Hillary

There is to be a memorial service for Sir Edmund Hillary, the first climber to scale Mount Everest, at Windsor Castle, it has been announced.

The New Zealand explorer died earlier this month in Auckland at the age of 88.

The Queen - whose coronation took placed on the same day the explorer's successful climb was revealed - has offered the Hillary family a memorial service at St George's Chapel in April. The date has yet to be confirmed.

Sir Edmund's family will also be invited to attend an audience with the Queen following the service.

Sir Edmund was knighted for climbing Everest in 1953 in the same year as his achievement, and was awarded the Order of the Garter, 42 years later.

The Queen had met Sir Edmund on a number of occasions, the last being in New Zealand during the 2002 Golden Jubilee tour and in the UK in 2004 at the Garter ceremony in Windsor.

She sent a personal message to the explorer's family following the announcement of his death.

Sir Edmund's state funeral will be held on January 22. The Queen has asked that the Governor-General of New Zealand, the Honourable Anand Satyanand, PCNZM, QSO, represent her at the funeral.

A personal wreath from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh will also be laid at the Lying-in-State prior to the service at St Mary's Cathedral in Parnell in Auckland.


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