Supporters of mourning the loss of Queen Elizabeth left floral tributes at her Scottish home following her death on Thursday.
Despite the pouring rain on Thursday, people gathered outside Balmoral in the evening to pay their respects to Britain’s longest-serving monarch.
It comes when King Charles III travels from Balmoral to London on Friday after his mother’s death. Prince Harry left the castle this morning after spending the night with his family.
The new king will be accompanied by his queen consort, Camilla, while other senior royals will remain reunited in Scotland for the time being.
On Thursday the Queen’s other sons, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew, rushed to Balmoral to be with her in her final moments. The Princess Royal had been to Raasay Island on Wednesday and she had stayed the night in Balmoral.
Prince William, Harry and the Countess of Wessex also traveled to the Scottish estate, a country house much loved by the late queen, following news of her ill health.
Tributes and flowers were laid out on a bridge near Balmoral, with a card saying: “I love you Regina. I’ll miss you. Tilly, 4 years old.
Another read: “A mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, our queen. Your work here is done. Relax. Charlotte, Adam, Harriet and Tilly.
Gillian Neale and her 11-year-old daughter Jodie departed from Alford, Aberdeenshire, to pay their respects at Balmoral Castle. “There is a very sad mood here,” said Ms. Neale.
“It was very popular around here, everyone loved it and she loved it here. We came here to be respectful ”.
Reverend Kenneth MacKenzie, of Crathie Kirk – the church the royals attended while they were in Balmoral – said that locals in the area learned of his death with “great sadness”.
He said his long life was “shaped by faith, infused with grace and characterized by selfless service”.
Photos taken Thursday afternoon showed William driving Sophie, Edward and Andrew from Aberdeen airport to the royal estate. The queen’s death was later confirmed in a statement at 6:30 pm.
Downing Street said Prime Minister Liz Truss had been informed of the Queen’s death at 4:30 pm by the cabinet secretary while working at No.
Harry landed in Aberdeen nearly an hour and a half after his grandmother’s death was announced, arriving at Balmoral at 7:52 pm.
Both William and Harry made their way to the Scottish estate on their own without their wives, with Meghan planning to stay in London after the couple’s plans to participate in the WellChild awards were canceled.
Kate has reportedly stayed in Windsor to help take care of the children. Thursday was the first day of school for Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
The family will now be reunited at Balmoral Castle as preparations begin for the Queen’s stay in the state.
Charles will hold his first audience with the prime minister as king on Friday and will address the nation on a televised broadcast in the evening.
Since the 19th century, royalty have found particular solace on the 50,000-acre country estate in Aberdeenshire.
It was the late Queen’s favorite residence and Queen Victoria called it “my dear paradise in the Highlands”.
As children, the Queen and her sister spent summers there playing charades with their family and singing Scottish songs. It was often a place where they could relax away from the pressures of real life.
Balmoral was also where the Queen met her future husband, Prince Philip, and they spent part of their honeymoon there, in a country house on the grounds.
The newly married queen described life with Philip and their corgis in a letter to the Queen Mother after their marriage, writing: “Here is heaven. Philip is reading full length on the sofa (he has a cold).
“Susan is lying in front of the fire, Rummy is fast asleep in his box by the fire, and I’m busy writing this in one of the armchairs by the fire (see how important the fire is!).”
He was also not afraid to get rid of the servants and make do. When Tony Blair visited the queen at Balmoral, he was surprised that she was stuck with hosting and cooking.
Recalling the living room, he said: “You think I’m joking, but I’m not. They put on gloves and put their hands in the sink. The queen asks if you’re done, she stacks the dishes and goes to the sink.
Responding to the news of the Queen’s death, Scottish Prime Minister Nicholas Sturgeon said that “Scotland loved her, respected her and admired her. And by all accounts, her Majesty was seldom happier than she was when she was here in Scotland, in her beloved Balmoral than her.
“I hope it is a source of comfort to his family that he spent his last days in a place he loved so much.”
Recalling her time with the queen, Theresa May also mentioned her love for the Highland retreat.
“He was very interested in the estate and the animals on the estate. Her great love for the countryside has come through, ”she said.