Hillary's family to have private audience with UK Queen

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Auckland (New Zealand), Feb.16 : New Zealand mountaineering legend Sir Edmund Hillary's family will have a private meeting with Queen Elizabeth after a service in London in April.

A formal service of thanksgiving in Sir Edmund Hillary's honour would be held at Windsor Castle on April 2, to be hosted by the Queen, Buckingham Palace announced overnight.

A small number of seats will be available for members of the public inside St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.The public could also apply for places in the Lower Ward, or Court, of Windsor Castle to hear the Service broadcast outdoors, Stuff.co.nz quoted Prime Minister Helen Clark's office as saying today.

Several hundred tickets would be distributed by a ballot organised by Buckingham Palace and the New Zealand High Commission in London.

The service would include the laying up of Sir Edmund's Knight of the Garter banner, when it was returned to his family, Miss Clark said in her statement.

Sir Ed's knighthood was a rare honour when he was made a Knight of the Garter, the oldest British Order of Chivalry.

"Other aspects of the service will be developed in consultation with the Hillary family," Miss Clark's statement said.

Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay conquered 8848-metre Mt Everest on May 29, 1953, on the eve of Queen Elizabeth's coronation. He died on January 11, 2008, aged 88.

ANI

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