Thousands more grieving and tearful Britons head to Buckingham Palace

And still they come: Thousands more grieving and tearful Britons head to Buckingham Palace, Windsor and Balmoral to mark respect for the Queen as nation mourns Her Majesty – with royal gardeners forced to clear floral tributes to make way for more

  • Palace gardeners removed bouquets and moving them to Green Park to make space for more people arriving
  • Families with young children laid flowers and attached heartfelt drawings to Buckingham Palace gates today
  • King Charles III will be proclaimed as the monarch St James’s Palace at 10am today for a historic ceremony
  • Balmoral had parents bringing children to the late Queen’s Scottish residency, where she died on Thursday
  • Full coverage: Click here to see all our coverage of the Queen’s passing

Great Britain is united in grief following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, with tens of thousands of people seen flocking to Buckingham Palace to pay their respects ahead of King Charles III being formally proclaimed as the monarch.

Members of the public have continued to gather at the palace gates this morning with hundreds of bouquets, personal notes and candles left in her honour.

King Charles will be attending St James’s Palace at 10am today for a historic ceremony where he will meet with the Accession Council. Privy Counsellors will then gather without Charles and proclaim him King before he takes an oath. 

At 11am trumpeters will play as the public proclamation of a new sovereign is read from Friar Court balcony by the Garter King of Arms. Union flags will go back up to full mast at 1pm and remain there for 24 hours. The new King will later hold audiences with Prime Minister Liz Truss and her Cabinet.

And on the first official day of mourning for the late Queen Elizabeth II, Britons have continued to show their affection for Her Majesty after her death aged 96 on Thursday evening.

A huge mound of floral tributes has built up outside the gates, while Tower Bridge was last night lit up in purple in honour of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch.

This morning palace gardeners were seen removing bunches of flowers off the gates and moved them to Green Park, presumably to leave space for the public to continue to get as close as they can to the King and Queen’s new home as the nation comes to terms with the Queen’s death. 

Great Britain is united in grief following the death of Her Majesty The Queen, with tens of thousands of people seen flocking to Buckingham Palace to pay their respects ahead of King Charles III being formally proclaimed as the monarch (scenes at Green Park this morning) 

Members of the public have continued to gather at the palace gates this morning with hundreds of bouquets, personal notes and candles left in her honour (an emotional mourner pictured last night) 

This morning palace gardeners were seen removing bunches of flowers off the gates (pictured) and moved them to Green Park, presumably to leave space for the public to continue to get as close as they can to the King and Queen’s new home as the nation comes to terms with the Queen’s death

Members of the public walk through flowers, balloons and tributes left by mourners outside Buckingham Palace that have been moved to Green Park

Yesterday King Charles arrived at Buckingham Palace with his wife and Queen Consort Camilla after flying down to RAF Northolt from Aberdeen and they were given a rapturous welcome welcomed to a sea of well-wishers greeting him with kisses and shouts of ‘God Save the King’. Pictured, Green PArk this morning

Early today children have been seen laying flowers as they visit the late Queen’s residence, with sweet drawings attached to the bouquets and palace gates

One drawing shows the Queen with a colourful dress on, love hearts surrounding her and the words ‘best Queen Elizabeth II’, ‘you are the best Queen ever!’ and the Her Majesty’s date of birth to date of death. It was signed by Mila, age seven

Yesterday King Charles arrived at Buckingham Palace with his wife and Queen Consort Camilla after flying down to RAF Northolt from Aberdeen and they were given a rapturous welcome welcomed to a sea of well-wishers greeting him with kisses and shouts of ‘God Save the King’.

The King was heard saying, ‘Thank you so much, it’s so kind, it really is’, ‘God bless you’ and ‘I’ve really dreaded this day’ during the 15-minute walkabout. One woman shouted to him, ‘We love you King Charles and we loved your mum’. 

Huge crowds cheered as the visibly emotional sovereign arrived in a vintage Rolls-Royce alongside Camilla, the Queen Consort, before he got out and began shaking hands with countless members of the public waiting behind a barrier.

In Balmoral this morning, mourners continued to arrive at the Queen’s residence in Balmoral, where a park-and-ride is now in place to smoothen out the steady flow of people coming to the Scottish estate to pay their respects.

A young girl called Olivia told Sky News that she remembers seeing Buckingham Palace when she went to London on a family holiday: ‘I think she was there but we didn’t get inside.

‘I remember when I was in school and it was the Jubilee, learning loads about the Queen, colouring in, doing ‘I spy’ worksheets to find the corgis. We learnt that she’s been on the throne for 70 years.’

Her father Graham added: ‘I thought it was a good opportunity to come and say thank you, pay our respects. The Queen has always been there every day since I’ve been alive like most of the nation so it’s a fitting time to say thank you.

‘We’re quite local as well so it’s something good for the kids to remember as well, thinking back in another 70 years.

People left candles, Paddington bear toys and signs reflecting on the life of Her Majesty after her death on Thursday afternoon

A Paddington Bear toy was attached to the palace railings with the tag ‘Queen of Today’ wrapped onto it

‘I think she [The Queen] was very proud of mentioning Scotland, having Balmoral here and the likes of King Charles as well. Very proud to have them so close on our doorstep.’

Several families were seen in Balmoral this morning, with the royal residences of the UK expected to see more visitors this weekend as parents bring their children to see a moment in history. 

Early today children have been seen laying flowers as they visit the late Queen’s residence, with sweet drawings attached to the bouquets and palace gates.

One drawing shows the Queen with a colourful dress on, love hearts surrounding her and the words ‘best Queen Elizabeth II’, ‘you are the best Queen ever!’ and the Her Majesty’s date of birth to date of death. It was signed by Mila, age seven.

Another, again signed by seven-year-old Mila, Margot, age five, and Theo, eight months, shows the Queen with a golden crown and a rainbow surrounding her with the title ‘Our beautiful Queen’.

On Thursday evening after the announcement of Her Majesty’s death at 6.30pm, two rainbows appeared over Buckingham Palace, brightening up the gloomy grey skies which loomed over London for most of the day.

Royal park staff last night began closing the area around the Victoria memorial outside Buckingham Palace.

Metal railings were placed in front of the entrance to the memorial as staff asked members of the public to leave yesterday evening.

Flowers, tributes, Union Jack flags and soft toys are left outside Windsor Castle after the Queen’s death on Thursday

The same was done on the Long Walk outside Windsor Castle, where despite flowers being removed overnight, reappeared in their thousands as people continued to head towards the royal residences across the UK.

The Windsor Castle estate erected a sign for well-wishers leaving flowers which read: ‘Your flowers are greatly appreciated.

‘It may be necessary to move your flowers, if so, they will be placed in a secure area outside St George’s Chapel or along Cambridge Drive. All messages and cards will be kept safely for the Royal Family to read.’

Thousands of mourners remained outside Buckingham Palace last night as more arrived to soak up the atmosphere this morning.

Ten-year-old Mia and her mother Lindy, who are from Wimbledon, went to the Palace in London this morning to lay a poster she made, which read ‘We will miss you, your Majesty’ from the sixth form pupils at Rutherford School, where Lindy works.

Andy Bow, 57, from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, went to Buckingham Palace on Saturday.

The armed forces veteran said: ‘I’m just completely bereft really. I served the Queen while I was in the Army for 14 years. She just means so much to me, she’s everything.

‘She’s the mother of our nation I think. I, along with the vast majority of everybody here, are a little bit lost and not sure what’s going to happen so I just felt I had to come down and pay my respects for the last time.’

Louise and Andrew Falconer, 63 and 62, from Watford, believe the King will be a different monarch from his mother. Mr Falconer said: ‘He’ll have different attitudes, different ideas.’

Mrs Falconer added: “I think he’ll be a bit more modern. He might have to watch what he says sometimes. It’ll be interesting. We’re a modern society.’

When the new King arrived to a warm welcome at the palace yesterday, film director Raynald Leconte, 47, who is from New York, said he was lucky enough to speak to the King and Queen Consort. ‘It was quite a moment,’ he said.

Flowers and messages for Queen Elizabeth II are seen at the gates outside Buckingham Palace

Queen Elizabeth II was Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century

Mourners place flowers and messages for Queen Elizabeth II at the gates outside Buckingham Palace

A woman prays beside thousands of flowers in front of Buckingham Palace

‘I said, ‘condolences’. He said, ”really, really thank you very much”. And to his wife I wished her good luck and she said, ”thank you very much”. I think she said, ”I’ll need it”.’

Mother of three Stella Johnson said: ‘I think he will be wonderful, and I just wanted to come here to see him. This is really a historic moment and I wanted to make sure I did not miss it.’

Further back in the crowd, a former Guardsman, who asked not to be named, gave the crowd a running commentary as he was tall enough to see over the crowds and pick out Charles as he met mourners.

He also talked them through the protocol of the Guards who had assembled in the Palace forecourt to salute the new King as he made his way into the Palace, where he has held his first audience with Prime Minister Liz Truss.

One of the first to offer words of support to the new King was Laura Ohmona. She said after shaking hands with Charles: ‘I said to him ‘sorry for your loss’ and he said ‘thank-you’.’ 

Also among the crowds at Buckingham Palace was retired Ammar Al-Baldawi, 64, from Hertfordshire, who said: ‘It was impressive, touching, a good move to come out to the crowds.

‘I think that’s where the royal family needs to communicate with the people now. These are true loyalists here and it’s nice to see him back in post, taking charge of the family and the Crown, which is reassuring.’ 

The King must turn to his duties as monarch despite his grief, and has held his first in-person audience with Prime Minister Liz Truss at Buckingham Palace

The new king thanked people for their good wishes, shaking countless hands after stepping from his state Bentley

A visibly emotional Charles pauses to look at floral tributes to his mother that have been left outside the gates of Buckingham Palace 

Colin Hennessy, 52, said: ‘It’s great to see the King. You can see he’s very emotional but he was very grateful to everybody here. He thanked as many people as he could as he walked by.’  

Joyce Curtis, 72, from Jersey, said: ‘I just wanted to be here. It was great. I have respect for him. He walked all the way along to see the people and back to see the flowers. It is what the people wanted to see, which is great.’ 

Later today senior government staff will swear an oath to the King in the House of Commons, 

A  flurry of proclamations will around the country on Saturday, with the second one in the City of London at the Royal Exchange at midday, and further proclamations in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales at midday on Sunday. 

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