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A nation united in our grief: Crowds pay tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

Many bouquets of flowers continued to be placed in royal homes across the UK as mourners shared their memories of Elizabeth and her 70-year reign. At Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Balmoral, Sandringham, Hillsborough Castle, Holyrood Palace and London’s Green Park, Her Majesty’s loyal subjects worried about her and showered her with thanks for many years of service.

Melanie Knight, 54, was in tears as she drove from Tunbridge Wells, Kent, to Buckingham Palace to express her condolences.

“I’m really emotional. We just need to be here,” Melanie said.

“She’s always been a consistent person, which is really weird.

“I went to the attic specifically to find my brownie bag keepsake yesterday because I remembered that I had sworn my allegiance to the Queen and to God. I didn’t think about it until yesterday.

Andy Bow, 57, from Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, was at Buckingham Palace. The Armed Forces veteran said: “I literally lost my life completely. I served the queen for 14 years in the military. She was important to me, she was everything.

“I think she is the mother of our country. Like the vast majority of people here, I’m a little lost and not sure what to expect. So I feel like I have to go down one last time to pay my respects.

Francesca Prescott, 54, and Michela Grigio, 52, died last year of their mother, Estelle Hyams, aged 81. The visit of Michela Grigioni, from Seven Oaks, Kent, to Buckingham Palace was an emotional moment.

They said she would be ‘ecstatic’ and ‘proud’ to see them there, and say ‘that’s my girlfriend’.

A group of people laid flowers on a bridge over the River Dee in Balmoral, where the Queen died on Thursday.

Thousands of bouquets were left on the doorstep of her favorite Scottish home. A card reads: “Thank you ma’am for your dedication and years of service. There is always a special place in heaven.

Another feature is a child’s drawing of the late monarch with the words “I miss your queen”.

Tributes at Holyrood House in Edinburgh included a copy of Michael Bond’s book Paddington at the End of the Rainbow.

There was a note that said “Last story, Mrs. X.” Another benefactor left a marmalade sandwich in a zip lock plastic bag next to a stuffed Paddington bear, next to which it says ‘wait a minute’.

Both are nods to June’s sketch of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

In Windsor, people gathered for miles and lined up to pay their respects to the Queen.

Mother Angela Clark, 72, from Stines, Surrey, and daughter Lucy, 50, were among those who left the flowers.

Angela said: “We are very upset.

“In Windsor, we felt close to her, it was her home.

“When I try to think of the Queen, it’s just her big smile. She puts people at ease. She sticks it out.”

Gill Wintle, 74, from Ashford, Kent, said: ‘I remember coronations, street parties and fancy dress.

“We have an old, old black and white TV. It’s like a box with a small screen.

“We are lucky to have a television in our street. Everyone comes to us to see it.

Louise and Andrew Falconer came from Watford to pay their respects.

Ms Faulconer, 63, said: ‘When you see all this, you realize it happened.

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