Maryam Zakir-Hussain and Colin Drury
Sun, 11 September 2022 at 2:48 pm
Though the late monarch’s coffin is currently in Scotland and will remain in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh overnight, crowds miles away built up in London as mourners wished to leave flowers and tributes.
The traffic of people began at Green Park station in west London and snaked round to Buckingham Palace in a half-mile long queue that took two hours to pass through.
The line was largely good-natured and understanding of the logistical difficulties authorities faced, but as the sheer length of the wait became clear some frustrations began to emerge.
Parents with children turned back while elderly people with walking sticks complained of feeling faint.
“I suppose it shows how well-loved she was,” noted one person. “I’m sure it could have been organised better but, if it takes a couple of hours to pay respects, that’s a price worth paying.”
But those who did manage to make it to the Palace were overjoyed when they saw the new King arrive at the Palace, where he met with Commonwealth general secretary Patricia Scotland.
King Charles III was cheered and waved as his black car drove down The Mall and into the Palace gates accompanied by a motorcade of four cars and four police motorbikes.
The King could be seen waving to people through the car windows. Children sat on top of parents’ shoulders and people took photos as they watched the new sovereign arrive.
Lloyd Rees, a London-based lawyer, said he left sunflowers near the Palace to highlight the Queen’s legacy of bringing “joy and happiness to people”.
“Her Majesty the Queen gave a lifetime of service to our country. I felt I must visit the Palace and pay my respects to the Queen,” the 32-year-old said.
“I decided to leave a bouquet of sunflowers as she had brought so much joy and happiness to so many people for so long.”
As well as the bouquet, Mr Rees left a note at a floral tribute garden in Green Park saying: “Thank you for your service to our nation. A constant in a changing world. We will miss you. With love.”