Queen Elizabeth II death: Saying goodbye with flowers – and Paddington Bears, unicorns and corgis - in Edinburgh
Sunflowers, roses, asters, irises, carnations, begonias – bouquets and posies of every colour, shape and size have been placed around the gardens of Holyrood Palace on the day the Queen left her Edinburgh residence for the last time.
Amongst the piles of flowers were personal messages of condolence from people of all ages, as well as cuddly toys, balloons, candles, paintings and drawings and lines of coins embossed with Her Majesty’s own image.
Paddington Bear was a popular choice for tributes, as well as little stuffed corgi dogs, at least one unicorn and a teddy or two dressed in tartan.
Becky Lindl, a florist, travelled to Edinburgh from Bathgate to lay her own hand-made floral artwork in the palace grounds – a circular piece bearing Queen Elizabeth’s royal insignia, created from fresh chrysanthemums sprayed black and gold to replicate the crest featured on the gates of Buckingham Palace and Tower of London.
Although she’s not a huge royal fan, Ms Lindl says both the Queen and Princess Diana “hold a big place” in her heart.
“I did lay flowers in London when Diana died,” she said.
“And I wanted to pay my respects to the Queen – I think she was an amazing woman.
“I was shocked when she died.
“We all knew it was going to happen one day, but I think nobody believed it.
“She was the nation’s grandma. It’s very emotional.
“She reminds me a lot of my own Nan, who is sadly no longer with us.
“But she was a big royalist and would have wanted to do something like this if she was still here.”
Stacey Zara McLaren from Tranent, in East Lothian, and her daughter Georgie Ramage got dressed up in their finest tartan for the occasion.
It was their second day in Edinburgh to mark the Queen’s final journey, and after the royal procession up the Royal Mile they were planning to join the queue to view the Queen’s coffin at St Giles Cathedral.
Ms McLaren said: “The Queen embodied everything to me – she reminded me of my own Granny, who raised me.
“Her death is the end of an era and although she was the Queen, she was also a gran and a mum.”
Nine-year-old Georgie added: “I started crying when I heard the Queen had died.
“I couldn’t sleep all that night.”
Sarah and Peter Monks were visiting Scotland from Stockport in England, attending a wedding in Ayrshire last week before heading to Edinburgh for a few days.
The procession brought an extra significance to their stay.
“Today is our last day here,” Mrs Monks said.
“Once we heard about the Queen we wanted to come to Edinburgh even more.
“She did her job well and she struck me as a kind person.
“Kindness is the greatest quality anyone can have.”
Mr Monks added: “I’m not a royalist, but she was a point of coherence.
“She has been there all our lives, a constant presence. We have never known life without her.
“For us it’s definitely the passing of an era, and we feel lucky we’ve been able to be here to mark the occasion.”
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