IT is the Queen Mother's courage and determination that many people in Gwent remember her for.

That courage was to influence her decision to stay at Buckingham Palace during the bombing Blitz on London in World War II - even after a bomb exploded in a courtyard just yards from where she and King George V1 were sitting.

Her remark that she was 'glad' the palace had been bombed so that 'I can look the East End in the face' established an unbreakable bond between the then-Queen Consort and the British people.

Her insistence on travelling the length and breadth of the country after the end of the war showed that she cared and the public responded with genuine affection, an affection apparent in all the tributes paid to the Queen Mother.

The Most Reverend Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Wales, pictured, said: "Everyone will remember the Queen Mother as an example not only of stability and courage, but also of wit and lightness of heart.

"Beneath the surface she was a person of deep and undemonstrative faith which clearly informed all that she did.

"We shall be remembering her with great gratitude in our prayers."

He added that the Queen would now be uppermost in his thoughts: "For the Queen, who has had two enormous bereavements in close succession, the message of Easter will have special power and resonance this year.

"The thoughts and prayers of all in the Church in Wales will be with the whole Royal Family."

Newport council leader Sir Harry Jones mourned the death of an 'institution'. He said: "She saw us through some of the darkest days of the Second World War.

"Every-body said she and her husband showed exemplary courage, especially during the blitz in London.

"Recently the Royal family has gone through a turbulent period but the anchor rock throughout has been her.

"They've lost somebody who has provided that base for a long time."

Wales' First Minister Rhodri Morgan said: "She will always be remembered in Wales with great affection, especially as she was the Queen during the dark days of the Second World War.

"She and the King showed obvious fortitude and courage when they took the decision to remain in London during the Blitz.

"We send our sympathies to the Royal Family, especially the Queen, as this sad news comes in her Golden Jubilee year and so close after the death of her sister, Princess Margaret."

The Queen Mother was actively involved with many charities and was performing Royal Duties and Engagements even after her hundredth birthday.

Members of The Order of St John and St John Ambulance Brigade in Wales, who were 'honoured' in having The Queen Mother as Commandant-in-Chief (nursing) for more than 70 years, said they were 'deeply saddened by her death' and sent their condolences to the Royal Family.

The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Wales, the Archbishop of Cardiff, the Most Reverend Peter Smith, said: "She was a very remarkable lady and her death is a great loss, especially for the Queen. She suffered a lot throughout her life with the death of her husband at quite a young age, the abdication crisis and the recent troubles the royal family have gone through, but she always remained steadfast."

Welsh Secretary and Torfaen MP Paul Murphy said: "This remarkable lady made many visits to Wales in the course of her life, particularly in support of charitable and voluntary organisations, of which she was the patron of many.

"Some people in Torfaen will remember her opening County Hall, in Cwmbran during the 1970s.

"I think she would have found it appropriate that, as a Christian, she died during Easter which celebrates resurrection.

"The people of Britain took her into their hearts during the Second World War when she visited the East End of London during the Blitz and she of course had her own home bombed."

Monmouthshire county council chairman, Donald Spencer said: "On behalf of the people of Monmouth-shire I would like to express the sadness of our county on the death of her Majesty, the Queen Mother.

"Her Majesty held a unique place in the hearts of the British people which will be impossible to replace.

"Many of us remember the inspiring leadership she, along with her husband King George the sixth, gave Britain during the war. In peace she continued to be a great symbol for our country."

Councillor John Hopkins, leader of Blaenau Gwent council said: "She was a public institution and her death is a sad loss to many people - particularly older people."

Torfaen's Mayor Colette Thomas, said: "I shared the same birthday with the Queen Mum on August 4 and always followed her celebrations at Clarence House.

"I was at the Pontypool versus Ebbw Vale match on Saturday when her death was announced and many people, like myself, were shocked and saddened by the news.

"She was an amazing woman and she will leave a gap."