Crowds of mourners lay flowers at Balmoral for ‘warm and kind’ Queen

·2-min read
Members of the public look at floral tributes at Balmoral in Scotland following the death of the Queen on Thursday (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)
Members of the public look at floral tributes at Balmoral in Scotland following the death of the Queen on Thursday (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

Large crowds of mourners have gathered to lay flowers for their “warm and kind” Queen as the sun shone on her beloved Balmoral.

Against a clear blue sky on a crisp Saturday morning, locals including parents and children – some carrying roses – gathered to add to the growing floral tributes at the castle gates.

Simon Shaw brought his two-year-old son and four-year-old daughter, who each carried red roses with them.

The 33-year-old engineer, from outside Aberdeen, said he felt it was a “poignant moment” that he wanted his family to be part of.

Well-wishers outside Balmoral in Scotland on Saturday following the death of the Queen (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Wire)
Well-wishers outside Balmoral in Scotland on Saturday following the death of the Queen (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Wire)

He said: “It’s something to look back on, and to respect and honour the Queen.”

Of the youngsters, he said: “They know the Queen is up in the sky. My daughter thinks the Queen is going to come and look at her flowers.”

He added: “I didn’t think we were massive royalists but I think we did have an emotional connection. I think she was maybe more part of us than we realised.

“I felt it (Balmoral) was quite a nice setting for her to spend her last days, it’s very peaceful and one of the areas she really enjoyed.”

Balmoral in Scotland (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Wire)
Balmoral in Scotland (Owen Humphreys/PA) (PA Wire)

Lecturer Mark Lindley-Highfield donned a black suit and hat to pay his respects to the Queen at Balmoral Castle.

He doffed his hat after laying flowers at the gates, then said: “I wanted to be at the place Her Majesty passed.

“It seems such a special place to her and I wanted to pay my respects at that place.”

The 47-year-old, from Inverness, planned to also travel to Edinburgh when the Queen’s coffin makes the journey south.

Describing himself as a traditionalist, he said: “I’m wearing as much black as I could comfortably don.”

Flowers are laid at Balmoral following the death of the Queen (Tom Wilkinson/PA) (PA Wire)
Flowers are laid at Balmoral following the death of the Queen (Tom Wilkinson/PA) (PA Wire)

Referring to his light grey waistcoat, he added: “I thought Her Majesty would want a bit of brightness to carry us forward.”

Chris Collins, from Banchory, described the late monarch as “a figurehead”.

The 68-year-old said he had not met the Queen but had been in her presence when she visited the Royal Artillery in Dortmund, Germany, in 1984.

Asked why he had come to Balmoral on Saturday, he said: “Having served in the Army for 14 years and with living local, I thought it would be nice to come down today and show our respects.”

Mr Collins said he remembered “how warm and kind she was”.

Well-wishers outside Balmoral (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)
Well-wishers outside Balmoral (Andrew Milligan/PA) (PA Wire)

He added: “She was such a loyal person to look up to and admire and respect.

“In some ways it’s nice that she died here in Balmoral because she did love the place.”

On Sunday, the Queen’s coffin is expected to be taken by road to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.