Crowds gather outside Buckingham Palace after death of the Queen

·4-min read
Crowds gather outside Buckingham Palace after death of the Queen

Thousands of mourners have flocked to Buckingham Palace in order to pay their respects after the Queen’s death.

At 6.30pm on Thursday, two members of the royal staff placed a notice on the gates which confirmed the nation’s worst fears that the Queen had died at the age of 96.

Laura Huff, who moved to London three-and-a-half years ago from the US, was in tears as she paid her respects at Buckingham Palace on Friday morning.

"We always knew this day would come but it just seemed to happen quite quickly when it did.

"She was like a grandmother to the nation.

"As someone who wanted to move here my entire life, she was someone you always hear about and read about.

"I think she had a really strong sense of responsibility and you could really see that."

Kwok-kit Ngan, 37, a dentist from Bromley, said he felt "great sadness" when the Queen died but it was "heart-warming" to see hundreds of tributes at Buckingham Palace early on Friday morning.

After laying a bouquet of sunflowers, the last in a nearby supermarket, Mr Ngan said: "She's been leading the country for the last 70 years and I think she really has led by example through the good times and the bad times."

Asked how it felt to see so many people paying tribute at the Palace, he said: "It's quite heart-warming. Not many events would draw people together.

"I think what happened yesterday has really got people to reflect and appreciate what she's really done for us over the past 70 years.

 (AP)
(AP)

"I think although it's a sad event, some good will come out of it.

"If you look at Prince Charles and Prince William over the past few years and the good they've done for the country, I think we're in safe hands."

Charles is expected to return to London after spending the night at Balmoral following his mother’s death.

A service will be held at 6pm which will be attended by ministers and Liz Truss.

Gun salutes will also take place at the Tower of London and Hyde Park.

Several left notes, including one reading: “We had you for longer than we deserved you”.

Crowds on Thursday night also gathered at Queen Elizabeth’s other residences such as Windsor and Balmoral, the latter of which were the Queen died peacefully.

A rainbow by Buckingham Palace as the news broke of the Queen’s death (Getty Images)
A rainbow by Buckingham Palace as the news broke of the Queen’s death (Getty Images)

Hundreds of people also streamed down the pavements winding through nearby Green Park on their way to pay tribute at the royal residence.

Sheila De Bellaigue had shock all over her face. The 77-year-old from London told the BBC: “I’m feeling very sad as everybody is here. I didnt know until I just saw the flag.”

Flowers being laid at the gates of Buckingham Palace (AFP via Getty Images)
Flowers being laid at the gates of Buckingham Palace (AFP via Getty Images)

Describing the Queen in one word, she says: “Staunch!”

She added: “She’s been a wonderful Queen and will be very much missed.”

One well-wisher said it felt “special” to gather with other mourners outside Windsor Castle.

Lisa, who arrived on Thursday from Florida, said: “I turned the news on and I was shocked, I didn’t realise what had happened.”

Members of the public leave floral tributes on the roadside outside the Balmoral Estate in Ballater (AFP via Getty Images)
Members of the public leave floral tributes on the roadside outside the Balmoral Estate in Ballater (AFP via Getty Images)

Nodding to the gathering crowd, she said: “But today’s special ... I feel this is good to be sitting here.

“And did you see the rainbow? It’s fading a little bit but it’s been beautiful.”

Of the Queen, Lisa said: “I admire her greatly. I actually have been collecting royal commemorative memorabilia for about 40 years.”

Queen Elizabeth II - Her Final Year

Queen Elizabeth II smiles while receiving the President of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis and his wife Paola Cassis during an audience at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, Thursday, April 28, 2022. (AP)
Queen Elizabeth II smiles while receiving the President of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis and his wife Paola Cassis during an audience at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, Thursday, April 28, 2022. (AP)
Queen Elizabeth II looks at a fan as she views a display of memorabilia from her Golden and Platinum Jubilees in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle. (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II looks at a fan as she views a display of memorabilia from her Golden and Platinum Jubilees in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle. (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II is joined by one of her dogs, a Dorgi called Candy, as she views a display of memorabilia from her Golden and Platinum Jubilees in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle. (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II is joined by one of her dogs, a Dorgi called Candy, as she views a display of memorabilia from her Golden and Platinum Jubilees in the Oak Room at Windsor Castle. (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II presents the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry to Grace Nichols during a private audience at Windsor Castle. (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II presents the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry to Grace Nichols during a private audience at Windsor Castle. (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of York arrive at a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London. (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of York arrive at a Service of Thanksgiving for the life of the Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London. (PA)
This new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II has been released by The Royal Windsor Horse Show to mark the occasion of her 96th birthday.  They are Fell ponies and the one on the right (in The Queen’s left hand) is called Bybeck Nightingale and the one on the left is Bybeck Katie . The image was taken in March in Windsor (PA)
This new portrait of Queen Elizabeth II has been released by The Royal Windsor Horse Show to mark the occasion of her 96th birthday. They are Fell ponies and the one on the right (in The Queen’s left hand) is called Bybeck Nightingale and the one on the left is Bybeck Katie . The image was taken in March in Windsor (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Windsor. (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Windsor. (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II at Paddington station in London, to mark the completion of London’s Crossrail project. (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II at Paddington station in London, to mark the completion of London’s Crossrail project. (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II and the Earl of Wessex next to a ticket machine at Paddington station in London during a visit to mark the completion of London’s Crossrail project (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II and the Earl of Wessex next to a ticket machine at Paddington station in London during a visit to mark the completion of London’s Crossrail project (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II departs following the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Windsor Castle. (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II departs following the A Gallop Through History Platinum Jubilee celebration at the Royal Windsor Horse Show at Windsor Castle. (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II sitting in a buggy during a visit by members of the royal family to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 (PA)
Queen Elizabeth II sitting in a buggy during a visit by members of the royal family to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 (PA)

A steady stream of people laid floral tributes at the Norwich Gates to Sandringham House on the Queen’s Norfolk estate.

Some appeared tearful as they approached the iron gates and placed their items at the foot of them.

Security workers closed the road beside the gates to traffic, with metal fencing across the junction of Sandringham Road with Scotch Belt and a police officer manning it.

The crowds continued to grow as the light faded at Sandringham on Thursday, with a mix of members of the public and journalists.