Photos: Thousands collect at Buckingham Palace to mourn the one queen many have ever identified

By the handfuls, then the a whole lot, then the hundreds, Britons from all walks of life converged on the ornate gates of Buckingham Palace in central London, first in fearful anticipation, then in mourning for the one monarch that nearly any of them had ever identified.

Some wept. Some clasped fingers. Others gazed round somberly, misplaced in their very own ideas.

Even earlier than the formal announcement late Thursday afternoon of Queen Elizabeth II’s demise at 96, because the day’s final mild was vanishing amid bursts of rain, crowds had begun to kind exterior the palace, the official residence of British monarchs for the reason that nineteenth century.

“It’s a somber moment,” mentioned Jeffrey Julien, 57, a Londoner who watched the British flag being lowered to half-staff to mark Elizabeth’s demise. “She is one public person in this country who has been present on TV, in news, for my entire life. She was the constant.”

As phrase unfold earlier within the day that members of the royal household had been hurrying to the queen’s aspect at her summer time retreat of Balmoral Citadel, in Scotland, crowds within the capital broke right into a rendition of “God Save the Queen.”

Folks collect on Queen Victoria Memorial exterior Buckingham Palace in central London, following the announcement of the demise of Queen Elizabeth II.

(Yui Mok/Related Press)

London black cabs lining The Mall leading up to Buckingham Palace to silently pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II.

London black cabs lining The Mall main as much as Buckingham Palace to silently pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II in London, England.

(Leon Neal/Getty Photographs)

A policewoman lays tributes outside Buckingham Palace following the death today of Queen Elizabeth II in Balmoral.

A policewoman lays tributes exterior Buckingham Palace following the demise right now of Queen Elizabeth II in Balmoral in London, England.

(Dan Kitwood/Getty Photographs)

Police officers stand amongst floral tributes left outside Buckingham Palace.

Cops stand amongst floral tributes left exterior Buckingham Palace after the announcement of the demise of Queen Elizabeth II, in London, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022.

(Victoria Jones/Related Press)

Members of the public stop in the rain to study a huge picture of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II displayed at Piccadilly Circus

Members of the general public cease within the rain to check an enormous image of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II displayed at Piccadilly Circus in central London after the announcement of the demise her demise.

(BEN STANSALL/AFP by way of Getty Photographs)

Crowds gather on the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace following the death today of Queen Elizabeth II

Crowds collect on the Queen Victoria Memorial in entrance of Buckingham Palace following the demise right now of Queen Elizabeth II in Balmoral on in London, England.

(Getty Photographs)

A member of royal household staff posts a notice on the gates of the Buckingham Palace in London

A member of royal family workers posts a discover on the gates of the Buckingham Palace in London, asserting the demise of Queen Elizabeth II.

(Victoria Jones/Related Press)

An announcement regarding the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is displayed on the gates of Buckingham Palace in London.

An announcement concerning the demise of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is displayed on the gates of Buckingham Palace in London.

(Frank Augstein/AP)

A man looks on holding a Union flag umbrella as a rainbow is seen outside of Buckingham Palace in London.

A person appears to be like on holding a Union flag umbrella as a rainbow is seen exterior of Buckingham Palace in London.

(Samir Hussein/WireImage)

A woman lays some flowers outside Buckingham Palace in central London.

A lady lays some flowers exterior Buckingham Palace in central London.

(DANIEL LEAL/AFP by way of Getty Photographs)

The first bouquets of flowers are attached to the gates of Buckingham Palace in London.

Following the official announcement of the demise, on the age of 96, of Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Citadel in Scotland, the primary bouquets of flowers are connected to the gates of Buckingham Palace in London.

(Richard Baker/In Footage by way of Getty Photographs)

People gather at Buckingham Palace in London following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Folks collect at Buckingham Palace in London following the demise of Queen Elizabeth II.

(Yui Mok/PA Photographs by way of Getty Photographs)