Windsor Castle’s rainbow to the heavens, and the other indelible images from the day Her Majesty The Queen died

Images from the day that Her Majesty The Queen died at Balmoral Castle.

Queen Elizabeth II’s death sparked an outpouring of grief from billions of people around the world, and people came together to pay their respects to a woman who will go down in history as one of Britain’s greatest monarchs.

In a quite extraordinary moment, a rainbow broke out over Windsor Castle at the moment of the announcement of Her Majesty’s passing, and the hugely experienced royal photographer Chris Jackson was there to capture it.

‘As the flag is lowered to half mast over Windsor Castle and the minute the passing of HM The Queen is announced an incredible rainbow appears over the castle, for a few minutes,’ Chris wrote on Instagram. ‘And then just like that it was gone…’

Huge crowds had gathered at Windsor, and indeed at all the other royal residences, as people came together to help each other as they started to process the sad news.

Thousands came together at Buckingham Palace:

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LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 08: Crowds gather on the Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace following the death today of Queen Elizabeth II in Balmoral, on September 8, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

For a long time, the crowd was lost in quiet thought; then, seemingly spontaneously, they broke into song:

On The Mall — the road leading up to the central London residence — London’s black cab drivers even joined the vigil themselves as they formed a procession of sorts:

At Buckingham Palace as at Windsor, the day’s volatile weather — alternating bright sunshine and heavy downpours — led to another rainbow, somehow an ideal symbol of a day on which grief and sadness were mixed with joyful memories of a person who touched countless lives.


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At Sandringham in Norfolk, huge numbers of flowers had been laid at the gates before night had even fallen:

A young girl lays a floral tribute at the main gate of Sandringham on September 08, 2022 in Sandringham, United Kingdom. Photo: Getty

Windsor Castle was also flooded with floral tributes, and as night fell thousands of people took to the streets of the ancient town which was Her Majesty’s preferred day-to-day home:

Tributes are laid outside of Windsor Castle on September 08, 2022 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

And finally, of course, endless flowers were laid at Balmoral itself, Her Majesty’s much-loved summer residence in a part of the world where local people have long looked upon her fondly as one of their own.

ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND – SEPTEMBER 08: Members of the public leave flowers outside Balmoral Castle as the death of Queen Elizabeth II is announced on September at Balmoral Castle on September 8, 2022 in Aberdeenshire. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)