'She was a mother figure': Tributes flood in across the UK as public pays tribute to the Queen

A woman lays flowers at the gates of Buckingham Palace.
Tributes for the Queen have come from far and wide since her death was announced. Credit: PA

Members of the public have continued to pay tribute to the Queen, with her death being compared to "losing the mother of the country".

On Friday, crowds gathered once more at the various Royal residences, including Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Balmoral Castle, where the Queen passed away peacefully on Thursday afternoon.

At the gates of Buckingham Palace rows of flowers and other tributes have been left, after hundreds braced the rain to pay their respects on Thursday evening.

In the early hours of Friday morning, people could be seen flocking to Buckingham Palace to continue mourning Her Majesty's life and service.

Rows of flowers and other tributes have been left at the gates of Buckingham Palace. Credit: AP

Mourners, many dressed in black, congregated beside hundreds of colourful bouquets and messages.

A large Union flag in tones of black and grey has been pinned to the right flank of the gates, while police officers kept a crowd back from the main gates further to the left.

One man who made the journey to the Palace told ITV News he was "just heartbroken" at the Queen's death.

"We've lost the mother of the country, haven't we? Devastated. That's all I can say," he added.

Another woman told how she had attended the Queen's coronation in 1953, and said: "I didn't think 70 years later I would be standing here again".

'I didn't think 70 years later I would be standing here again'

She insisted on returning to Buckingham Palace to honour the "wonderful monarch".

"I remember her saying that she would serve her country until the end of her life whether it be long or short.

"And it was very long but she did exactly that," she added.

'With the balcony behind me just watching her come out makes me have a smile'

Good Morning Britain spoke to one woman, who had travelled from Kent with her two sons, to visit the Royal Palace and recognise the Queen's passing.

She described the former monarch as "like a mother" and said her death was a "sad loss".

Her youngest son added that the Queen is "very special to me" and her appearances on the balcony of Buckingham Palace made him "have a smile every time".

'The Queen's been an inspiration to me my whole life'

Another girl who had arrived early to the Royal residence, accompanied by her family, said the Queen had been "an inspiration to me my whole life".

A note left by her at the Palace read: "Dear Queen, we will really miss you. Your loss has made us all really very sad because you meant so much to all of us. And this weekend I'm only going to wear black."

"To our Queen, we thank you for everything. We are so very proud of you. May you rest in peace," a separate letter read.

The world's media have gathered outside Buckingham Palace. Credit: Martin Stew

ITV News Correspondent Martin Stew reflects on the atmosphere at Buckingham Palace

It’s 7.30 in the morning but already crowds are gathering at Buckingham Palace. Flowers now line the entire length of the fence with hundreds of mourners standing behind security barriers to capture the moment on their phones and pay their own respects. 

The crowd is as diverse as the Nation and Commonwealth the Queen ruled. People from all walks of life clearly moved and wanting to be together at a time of national grief. 

There’s also an enormous number of TV crews from right around the world. I think I’ve seen journalists reporting to countries in every continent with the exception of Antarctica. The scale of interest in this story internationally is impossible to underestimate. 

Flowers now line the entire length of the fence at Buckingham Palace. Credit: Martin Stew
A floral tribute left outside Hillsborough Castle, in Northern Ireland. Credit: PA

Other floral tributes have been left outside the Royal residences dotted across the UK.

One note, which was lefty outside Hillsborough Castle, in Northern Ireland, said the "heart of the world" had been "broken" by the Queen's death.

In the Aberdeenshire town of Ballater - just a short distance from Balmoral - John Sinclair, owner of HM Sheridan Butchers, said the Queen felt like "one of our own".

'We just felt she was our neighbour and when she just came to the village it was one of our own people'

Her Majesty visited the butchers on a number of occasions, which also regularly supplied Balmoral Castle with orders of meat.

Mr Sinclair added the Queen surprised locals with a "remarkable" visit after severe flooding in the area, during 2015, saying "she just loved to see over village back to normality again".

Mourners have also been laying flowers at the foot of a golden beech tree planted by the Queen, in 2002, at the National Memorial Arboretum.

Floral tributes have been left at the foot of a golden beech tree planted by the Queen at the National Memorial Arboretum. Credit: PA

Mark Ellis, lead at the arboretum said: “This was a very special place for her, she came here on several occasions and is very much a place where people wish to come, reflect and remember Her Majesty.

“Nearby is a tree her late husband the Duke of Edinburgh planted. Already flowers are beginning to gather around the bottom of it."

In the coming week a series of remembrance events will take place to commemorate the 70 years of service the Queen gave to Britain.

Across London digital boards are displaying a tribute to the Queen. Credit: AP

On Friday, gun salutes rang out across the capital, while the new monarch - King Charles III - is expected to hold his first audience with the prime minister.

Across London, digital boards, which would typically be filled with advertisements, are displaying a tribute to Britain's former monarch.

Stations for the London Underground as well as bus shelters began to display the imagery shortly after Buckingham Palace announced the Queen had died.