Taxi drivers began to line up in front of Buckingham Palace, in rows of as many as four wide, as soon as they heard the news of the Queen’s death on Thursday evening.
Michael Ackerman, a cab driver for 26 years, and friend Robert Caulder, who had driven a cab for 10 years, spoke to the PA news agency from the back of Mr Ackerman’s tax on The Mall.
Mr Caulder was among the first to arrive at the Mall, after hearing the news on the radio from inside his cab as he drove along Tottenham Court Road.
“I turned my light off and just made a beeline there, just to pay respects,” he told PA.
Fellow cab driver Mr Ackerman said: “We now know the Queen’s passed, the only woman we’ve ever known, our constant in both our lives and we’re showing our respect.
“There would have been a lot more cab drivers here but they’ve closed the road so no more can get here.”
He added: “We’re both from London.
“Liz is a London girl… she’s one of your own, she’s one of ours.”
Ian Fullagar, who had driven a taxi for four years, said he found out about the gathering of black cabs through social media and wanted to come to the Palace “as a mark of respect”.
He added: “We drive past here every day, it just becomes part of your life really.
“Everybody wants to go to the palace.
“Everyone wants to ask you questions about the Queen and this, that and the other.
“She becomes a big part of your life without actually being part of your life, if that makes sense.
“I feel very sad, I really do.
“I was actually gutted.”