Crowds have gathered outside Buckingham Palace following the death of the Queen aged 96.
A double rainbow has appeared over Buckingham Palace as members of the public gathered outside to pay their respects to the Queen.
People among the thousand-strong crowd outside the Palace gates in central London turned round to take pictures of the rainbow that appeared after a heavy downpour.
Buckingham Palace announced the Queen died peacefully at Balmoral on Thursday.
The Queen has died aged 96 POOL
Crowds have gathered outside Buckingham Palace Victoria Jones
Peter Barnes, 31, a campaign director who works in central London, said: “The mood is very sombre here at Buckingham Palace.
“Many people in the crowd commented on the rainbow with many taking photos.”
The rainbow could be seen over major landmarks across the capital including Elizabeth Tower in Westminster and the Queen Victoria Memorial.
A woman laid the first bouquet at the Queen’s central London residence just after 5pm and the crowd outside Buckingham Palace has since grown to around 1,000 people.
A helicopter could be heard circling overhead as people waited quietly for any news on the well-being of the Queen.
Mr Barnes said: “The crowd is only getting bigger so I imagine it won’t be long until people begin laying flowers.
“The Queen means so much to so many people not just here in the UK but around the globe.
“The world has lost a bastion of stability and dignity putting country and duty above all else.”
Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.
“The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”
The royal family’s official website now carries the message: “Queen Elizabeth II 1926 – 2022” along with the official statement issued by Buckingham Palace.
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted: “It was with the heaviest of hearts that we learned of the passing of Canada’s longest-reigning Sovereign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
“She was a constant presence in our lives – and her service to Canadians will forever remain an important part of our country’s history.
“He added: “As we look back at her life and her reign that spanned so many decades, Canadians will always remember and cherish Her Majesty’s wisdom, compassion, and warmth. Our thoughts are with the members of the Royal Family during this most difficult time.”