'High bar has been set' Mourners outside Buckingham Palace hail Queen Elizabeth II

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Crowds gathered outside the palace to commemorate the country’s longest serving monarch, who died aged 96 at Balmoral after 70 years on the throne. Those who descended on the Palace began singing God Save the Queen after the news broke at around 6.30pm.

Ex-serviceman Ray, 54, was among the hundreds outside Buckingham Palace.

He told Express.co.uk: “I served under the Queen for 25 years in the army. We’ve lost more than the Queen. There will never be another like her.”

Frenchman Alex Chavarot, 53, who has lived in Britain for 25 years, said: “I’m feeling sad and respectful. As a Frenchman, she represented stability. She was probably the most respected world leader.”

Harry Sheriff, 90, and his daughter were due to be attending a show at the Royal Albert Hall which was cancelled due to the Queen’s death. Mr Sheriff remembers the death of Her Majesty’s father, King George VI, in 1952. He told Express.co.uk: When the King died I was doing my national service. 

Ishaq Davis, 23, said: “It’s crazy, It’s a feeling like no other. I wasn’t born when Diana passed. I word at Harrods and when they made the announcement it was like time froze. It was silent.”

Alex Norman, 24, said: “I was in a bar, I turned around and someone was weeping and I read it [the news] on her phone screen. It’s devastating. [For] most people in the UK, nearly all, the Queen has been there our entire lives. The sense of community that she held for us is now gone. 

“She seemed like a good person and oversaw a lot of change in the country is now a little uncertain.”

“[King Charles III] has my full respect of course. He’s now the King but I think he has an impossible act to follow.

Denise O’Brien, from London Ontario, Canada, said: “There will be a lot of sadness in Canada. I’ve already had texts and emails from friends in the States and Canada who know I’m here. 

“I found out when I was going to the Royal Opera House. Everyone was coming out looking weird and I keep hearing ‘cancelled cancelled’. 

“One of the attendants explained what happened. I was in shock and weak in my legs. The opera house was nice enough to let people go in and have a drink to recover.

A double rainbow was also seen above the Palace in a rare phenomenon which graced the skies following heavy downpours across the capital.

It comes after the Palace announced in a statement: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.

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“The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

The Queen died at her residence, near Aberdeen, after doctors placed the monarch under medical supervision.

Prime Minister Liz Truss, who was appointed by the Queen on Tuesday, has welcomed her son King Charles III into his new role.

She said outside the doors of No10: “We offer him our loyalty and devotion, just as his mother devoted so much, to so many, for so long.

“And with the passing of the second Elizabethan age, we usher in a new era in the magnificent history of our great country, exactly as Her Majesty would have wished, by saying the words ‘God save the King’.”

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