Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Queen leads memorial service for Everest conqueror Edmund

April 2, 2008
Share this:

The Queen paid her respects to legendary mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary on Wednesday, as she led a memorial service held at Windsor Castle in his honour.

The New Zealand born mountaineer, who died of a heart attack in January aged 88, shared a special bond with Her Majesty after the Queen, who at the service chatted to his widow Lady June, knighted him just one month after his triumph almost 55 years ago.

Sir Edmund climbed Everest in May 1953 and his son Peter, who gave a speech at the service held in St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, remarked it was a "wonderful coincidence" that word of his feat filtered through to London on the day of Her Majesty's coronation.

"For my father, his association with the royal family was something that gave him great pleasure and honour. He was very grateful for that friendship," he remembered.

In addition to family members and dignitaries from New Zealand, the son of Sherpa Tenzing Norgay - who completed the Everest expedition with Edmund - was in attendance.

And Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, expressed her gratitude to the Queen for the "special day of remembrance".

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

Photo: ©
Hosting the service for New Zealand born Edmund, the Queen shares a conversation with his widow Lady June Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
The legendary mountaineer became the first person to scale Mount Everest - and word of his feat filtered through to London on the day of the Queen's coronation in May 1953 Photo: © PA Photos

More Royalty

See more