LONDON – As world leaders paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth on her death aged 96 on Thursday, ordinary people in Britain and around the globe paid their own respects to a woman who had been the face of her nation for more than 70 years.
On a rainy London night, thousands gathered outside Buckingham Palace, in central London, some laying floral tributes outside the black iron gates. There were similar scenes outside the queen’s Windsor Castle home. Black cabs lined up outside the palace to pay homage to the Queen.
Portraits of Elizabeth were posted on billboard screens in central London’s Piccadilly Circus and the city’s Canary Wharf financial district, and also across the Atlantic in New York’s Times Square. Flowers were laid outside the British Consulate General in New York.
In Washington, the US flag was lowered to half staff to mark the passing of a monarch whose legacy US President Joe Biden said “will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world”.
Her death was also marked in European cities. In Berlin, flowers and candles were laid outside the British Embassy. In Paris, the Eiffel Tower went dark at the stroke of midnight in a tribute to the Queen.
In Brazil, the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janeiro was lit up in the red, blue and white of the United Kingdom’s flag, while Australia announced plans to illuminate the sails of the Sydney Opera House.