London remembers Queen Elizabeth in newspaper displays, royal remembrances, quiet moments in usually noisy pubs

London remembers Queen Elizabeth in newspaper displays, royal remembrances, quiet moments in usually noisy pubs
·2 min read

LONDON — One day after Britain’s monarch of 70 years died, central London streets appeared mournful on Friday — a sadness measured by multi-page newspaper spreads read on the Underground, people walking purposefully with bouquets of flowers, and bus stop ad space taken over by royal commemorations.

Queen Elizabeth II smiled in an image displayed on a giant screen in Leicester Square, a bustling tourist hub.

Television offered little but coverage of the passing of the Queen, who died at age 96, and tributes to her 70 years of service — a milestone itself honored from February to June of this year via the Platinum Jubilee.

“It’s very strange to now live in this world where we’ve all known one monarchy,” said Steven Johnson, the 29-year-old manager of The Gloucester Arms, a pub, noting that learning the Queen had died “was quite a moment.”

The bar turned on the televisions usually reserved for sports “and everyone went quiet.”

The loss felt more palpable near two royal residences, Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace.

Near the late queen’s residence at Buckingham Palace, helicopters circled above, and news tents and trucks remained set up along the gates.

As a motorcade carrying King Charles II passed by, people in the crowd tried to get a peek — though few were tall enough or close enough to the barriers for a good view.

Kensington Palace, situated in Hyde Park behind a statue of Queen Victoria and home to Prince William and Kate Middleton’s family, was closed Friday. That didn’t stop mourners from leaving bouquets and kind words at the shuttered gates though.

“Thank you for everything, Ma’am! God Bless you,” read one yellow piece of paper, cut into the shape of a heart and adorned with heart and butterfly stickers.