In Pictures: The Astonishing Floral Tributes To The Queen Near Buckingham Palace

By M@ Last edited 21 months ago

Last Updated 13 September 2022

In Pictures: The Astonishing Floral Tributes To The Queen Near Buckingham Palace
Circles of flowers around a tree

They came in their thousands. Millions. Crowds of untold number zeroing in on Buckingham Palace and Green Park.

The scene is simply unbelievable. It's being compared to the outpouring of grief after the death of Diana, but the floral tributes to Queen Elizabeth II are on an even greater scale.

A lady crouches next to a bank of flowers

Green park is supposed to be green. No flowers. According to myth, Queen Catherine demanded that the park remain flowerless after she caught King Charles II plucking blooms here for his mistress. Save for the occasional wild daffodil, it's remained without petal to this day.

A long row of flowers in a park with crowds behind

No longer. The flowers are back (as a new Charles takes the throne). They are everywhere. Concentric circles of inflorescence engirdle every plane tree. Waves of colour propagate throughout the park.

A child's painting of the queen in a red dress on a bed of flowers

Here and there can be spied a Paddington. The Queen's final weeks will forever be connected with the loveable bear, after the pair appeared in a sketch during her Platinum Jubilee. The Royal Parks have politely asked people not to leave marmalade sandwiches behind. It couldn't be more British.

Paddington bear is among the tributes at the base of a tree
Lots of bunches of flowers around the base of a tree. Two women look on
Some visitors have left their tributes in other parts of the park, away from the official area.

The operation is well organised, with cordons and barriers, porta-toilets and police. Clearly, the plans have been in place for some time, but the rapid deployment of this barrier-and-bouquet village is still impressive. Volunteer marshals are everywhere, helping people find the official locations to leave tributes, and gently reminding folk to remove the plastic wraps from their flowers.

Large plastic bags full of cellophane
Bags and bags of plastic, awaiting recycling. We hear that the millions of donated flowers will be reused as compost after the week of mourning.
A tree full of flowers and rainbows
The Queen and a rose on a lamp post
A few flowers on the floor, beneath two plaques marking the Queen's birth
We also swung by Bruton Street where the Queen was born 96 years ago. A handful of tributes have been left here, beneath Elizabeth's plaques.

The queues to get near Buckingham Palace are now extensive and visitors are ushered towards Green Park instead. We paid a visit on Saturday and, after working our way through the crowds, managed to get close to the front. It will prove harder to do this over coming days.

Crowds outside the gates to Buckingham Palace
Image Will Noble/Londonist
Crowds near buckingham palace with a marshal in high-vis
Image Will Noble/Londonist

Honestly, the inflorescence of Green Park the most astounding scenes we've witnessed in London, in almost 20 years of writing this site. It's even more staggering when we remember that the week of mourning is only just getting started.

A tree full of flowers and rainbows

Green Park could be redubbed Multicolour Park by the weekend.