People gather outside Buckingham Palace in London, Sept 9, 2022, after the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II was announced. (CHRISTOPHE ENA / AP)
LONDON – As world leaders paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth on her death aged 96 on Thursday, ordinary people in Britain and around the globe paid their own respects to a woman who had been the face of her nation for more than 70 years.
On a rainy London night, thousands gathered outside Buckingham Palace, in central London, some laying floral tributes outside the black iron gates. There were similar scenes outside the queen's Windsor Castle home. Black cabs lined up outside the palace to pay homage to the Queen.
This undated photo provided by Buckingham Palace shows a video grab taken from Queen Elizabeth II's video message, which was played during a welcoming reception at COP26 on Nov 2, 2021. (BUCKINGHAM PALACE VIA AP)
Portraits of Elizabeth were posted on billboard screens in central London's Piccadilly Circus and the city's Canary Wharf financial district, and also across the Atlantic in New York's Times Square. Flowers were laid outside the British Consulate General in New York.
At Tea & Sympathy, a restaurant selling classic British favorites in New York, people came for a cup of tea as a way of paying their respects.
"It's like your mom died, because we've grown up with her, and her family," said Tea & Sympathy owner Nicky Perry. "I've had so many people turn up here today in floods of tears. Men. Americans."
READ MORE: Queen Elizabeth II dies at 96, ending an era for Britain
The American flag flies at half staff over the US Capitol, Sept 8, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington, after Queen Elizabeth II, Britain's longest-reigning monarch and a rock of stability across much of a turbulent century, died Thursday after 70 years on the throne. (JACQUELYN MARTIN / AP)
In Washington, the US flag was lowered to half staff to mark the passing of a monarch whose legacy President Biden said "will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world".
Her death was also marked in European cities.
Flowers were laid outside the British Embassy in Berlin, Sept 8, 2022, following the death of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II. (MARKUS SCHREIBER / AP)
In Berlin, flowers and candles were laid outside the British Embassy, while in Venice, God Save the Queen, the British national anthem, was played outside the Italian city's Festival Buildings.
In Paris, the Eiffel Tower went dark at the stroke of midnight in a tribute to the Queen.
In Brazil, the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking Rio de Janeiro was lit up in the red, blue and white of the United Kingdom's flag, while Australia announced plans to illuminate the sails of the Sydney Opera House.
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And in New Zealand, members of the armed forces performed a ceremonial Maori haka at the War Memorial in Auckland to pay tribute to the Queen, while people in Auckland expressed their sorrow.
"You knew the news was going to come but when it does come it's still a bit of a shock," said Auckland resident Nicki Reeves.
"She's been in everyone's lives for so many years now."
The world of sport reacted to the death of Queen Elizabeth on Thursday with a raft of cancellations across cricket, golf and rugby, while others paid tribute by holding a minute's silence.
At the US Open in New York, tennis fans and players held a moment of silence before the start of the women's semifinal between Tunisia's Ons Jabeur and France's Caroline Garcia.
Here is some reaction from world leaders to the news of the queen’s death:
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
"As the United Kingdom's longest-lived and longest-reigning Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II was widely admired for her grace, dignity, and dedication around the world. She was a reassuring presence throughout decades of sweeping change, including the decolonization of Africa and Asia and the evolution of the Commonwealth."
US President Joe Biden And Jill Biden
"In a world of constant change, she was a steadying presence and a source of comfort and pride for generations of Britons, including many who have never known their country without her," they said in a statement. "Her legacy will loom large in the pages of British history, and in the story of our world."
Russian President Vladimir Putin
"I wish you courage and resilience in the face of this difficult, irreparable loss. May I ask you to pass on sincere condolences and support to members of the royal family and the entire people of Great Britain."
"I willingly join all who mourn her loss in praying for the late Queen’s eternal rest, and in paying tribute to her life of unstinting service to the good of the Nation and the Commonwealth."
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland
"Her Majesty loved the Commonwealth, and the Commonwealth loved her. During her reign she travelled more than any monarch in history, visiting every part of our family of nations."
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
"Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered as a stalwart of our times. She provided inspiring leadership to her nation and people. She personified dignity and decency in public life."
Shehbaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan
"Deeply grieved at the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Pakistan joins the UK & other Commonwealth nations in mourning her death. My heartfelt condolences to the royal family, people & government of the UK."
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
"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."
Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo
"The Ghanaian people have very fond memories of the two visits she made to Ghana during her reign, and, on both occasions, we remember the friendliness, elegance, style and sheer joy she brought to the performance of her duties."
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa
"Her Majesty was an extraordinary and world-renowned public figure who lived a remarkable life. Her life and legacy will be fondly remembered by many around the world."
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari
"The story of modern Nigeria will never be complete without a chapter on Queen Elizabeth ll, a towering global personality and an outstanding leader. She dedicated her life to making her nation, the Commonwealth and the entire world a better place."
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
"I know that I speak for people across New Zealand in offering our deepest sympathy to members of the Royal Family at the passing of the Queen. To us she was a much admired and respected monarch, to them she was a mother and grandmother."
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese
"With the passing of Queen Elizabeth the Second, an historic reign and a long life devoted to duty, family, faith and service has come to an end."
"Australian hearts go out to the people of the United Kingdom who mourn today, knowing they will feel they have lost part of what makes their nation whole."
Former US president Donald Trump and former first lady Melania Trump
"Queen Elizabeth's historic and remarkable reign left a tremendous legacy of peace and prosperity for Great Britain. Her leadership and enduring diplomacy secured and advanced alliances with the United States and countries around the world."
Former US president Barack Obama
"Michelle and I were lucky enough to come to know Her Majesty, and she meant a great deal to us."
"Time and again, we were struck by her warmth, the way she put people at ease, and how she brought her considerable humor and charm to moments of great pomp and circumstance."
Former US president George W. Bush
"Laura and I were honored to have known Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Queen Elizabeth ably led England through dark moments with her confidence in her people and her vision for a brighter tomorrow."
Former US president Bill Clinton
"My thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family and all the people Her Majesty inspired throughout her lifetime of service."
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen
"It is with deep sadness that I have learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was the world’s longest serving Head of State and one of the most respected personalities worldwide."
European Council President Charles Michel
"Once called Elizabeth the Steadfast, she never failed to show us the importance of lasting values in a modern world with her service and commitment."
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin
"I would like to convey my deepest sympathy to the British people on the loss of their beloved monarch, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth."
Dutch King Willem-Alexander
"We remember Queen Elizabeth II with deep respect and great affection. Steadfast and wise, she dedicated her long life to serving the British people."
Norway's King Harald
"Our thoughts are with His Majesty The King and the members of the Royal Family on the loss of Queen Elizabeth. For nearly a century, Her Majesty devoted her life to the service of the Commonwealth, following the British people through good days and bad, in times of happiness and sorrow."
King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden
"With sadness, my family and I have today received the news that my dear relative, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, has passed away.
"The Queen served Her countries and the Commonwealth with an outstanding devotion and sense of duty. She has been a constant presence, not only in British society but internationally."
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
"We mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II. She was a role model and inspiration for millions, also here in Germany. Her commitment to German-British reconciliation after the horrors of World War II will remain unforgotten."
French President Emmanuel Macron
"Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II embodied the British nation’s continuity and unity for over 70 years. I remember her as a friend of France, a kind-hearted queen who has left a lasting impression on her country and her century."
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi
"Queen Elizabeth was a major player in world history over the last seventy years. She represented the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth with balance, wisdom, respect for institutions and democracy."
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan
Erdogan said he was saddened to learn of Queen Elizabeth's death and sent his deepest condolences to the royal family and the people and government of the United Kingdom.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez
"My condolences to the entire Royal Family, the government and the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II."
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy
"It is with deep sadness that we learned of the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. On behalf of the UA people, we extend sincere condolences to the @RoyalFamily, the entire United Kingdom and the Commonwealth over this irreparable loss."
Polish President Andrzej Duda
"My deepest condolences to the Royal Family and all the British people on passing of Her Majesty The Queen. For decades she has been an embodiment of everything that makes Britain truly Great."
Chief Minister of Gibraltar Fabian Picardo
"The People of Gibraltar will mourn Her Majesty as a monarch who has reigned wisely and with incomparable dedication throughout the period of our post-war emergence as a part of the British family of nations."
Barbados President Sandra Mason
"Just under one year ago Barbados took the decision to complete the course of independence by breaking constitutional ties with the British monarchy and establishing the world's newest republic."
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness
"We join our brothers and sisters in the Commonwealth in mourning her passing, and pray for the comfort of the members of her family, and the people of the United Kingdom, as they grieve the loss of their beloved Queen and matriarch."
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Keith Rowley
"Though Trinidad and Tobago gained its Independence and later became a Republic, this country recognizes the lasting legacy of Her Majesty."
Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne
"Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has had an impactful reign, during which her relations with my State and its people have remained mutually respectful and unchanging."
UAE's President Mohamed bin Zayed
"Her Majesty was a close friend of the UAE and a beloved & respected leader whose long reign was characterised by dignity, compassion & a tireless commitment to serving her country."
Abdullah bin Al Hussein, King of Jordan
"Jordan mourns the passing of an iconic leader. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was a beacon of wisdom and principled leadership for seven decades."
Iraqi President Barham salih
"I am deeply saddened by the passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II. I extend profound condolences to the royal family and to the people of the United Kingdom. Queen Elizabeth will be remembered as a great icon of history who served with grace, dignity and fortitude."
Expressed its "sorrow" at the death of Queen Elizabeth II and said that it "stood by the British people and her family in this moment of pain".
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
"The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela mourns the passing of Queen Elizabeth II of England, British monarch. We express our condolences to the royal family, to the United Kingdom and to the British people. Peace to her Soul!"
Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso
"Distraught at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, whose long life and dedication to the service of her people go down in history as an exemplary reign."
Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benítez
"From the Republic of Paraguay, we convey our condolences to the Royal Family, the Government and the people of the United Kingdom on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, who will always be remembered for her great vocation of service."
Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard
"Our thoughts and condolences to the people and government of the United Kingdom."
Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo
"I send heartfelt condolences to the Royal Family, the British people and the Commonwealth on the physical passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who honored Panama on a historic State Visit six decades ago. Peace to her soul."
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Her leadership will remain a legacy for humanity."
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo
"On behalf of the Peruvian people, we express our condolences to the royal family and the entire United Kingdom on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II of England, the British monarch."
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida
"Queen Elizabeth … played an extremely important role in the peace and prosperity of the world. In 1975, she visited Japan and contributed greatly to the strengthening of Japan-Britain relations."
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
"She performed her duties with devotion, grace, and humility. Her contributions to the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and indeed to the world will be recorded in history, and she will always be remembered fondly as a great world leader."
The following are reactions from musicians, actors and other celebrities to her death:
Helen Mirren, British actress who played Elizabeth on screen
"I’m mourning along with the rest of my country, the passing of a great Queen. I’m proud to call myself of the Elizabethan age. If there was a definition of nobility, Elizabeth Windsor embodied it."
Elton John, British singer and composer
"Along with the rest of the nation, I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s passing. She was an inspiring presence to be around and led the country through some of our greatest and darkest times with grace, decency and a genuine caring warmth."
Daniel Craig, James Bond English actor
“I, like so many, was deeply saddened by the news today and my thoughts are with The Royal Family, those she loved and all those who loved her. She leaves an incomparable legacy and will be profoundly missed."
Beatles musician Paul Mccartney
"God bless Queen Elizabeth II. May she rest in peace.
Long live The King."
Ozzy Osbourne, English singer
“I mourn with my country the passing of our greatest Queen. With a heavy heart I say it is devastating the thought of England without Queen Elizabeth II."
Tom Jones, Welsh singer
"Queen Elizabeth II was a constant presence and inspiration throughout my life. She was a reassuring force in difficult times, her dedication was faultless and her commitment to duty unrivalled."
Leona Lewis, British singer
“So saddened by the loss of our Queen. Above all she was a mother, grandmother, and great grand mother. My deepest condolences go out to the family x."
Andrew Lloyd Webber, British composer
"For the whole of my life, the Queen has been the constant anchor of not just Britain and her beloved Commonwealth, but an inspiration to the world for her lifetime of service. Her legacy will be remembered as a selfless beacon for love, understanding and celebration of fellow human beings all over the world, no matter their race or creed."
Mick Jagger, English singer and songwriter
"For my whole life Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II has always been there. In my childhood I can recall watching her wedding highlights on TV. I remember her as a beautiful young lady, to the much beloved grandmother of the nation."
Yoko Ono, Multimedia artist
"We would like to send out deepest sympathy to the Royal family following the passing of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II; a strong and powerful woman whose seventy year reign was served with integrity, dignity, grace and compassion. With love, Yoko and Sean Ono Lennon."
Kylie Minogue, Australian singer
"The occasions I had the honor of being in the presence of Queen Elizabeth II, her energy, compassion and aura had a most singular brilliance. I was, and am, in awe."
Andrea Bocelli, Italian tenor
"It was a privilege to have the opportunity to sing for Her Majesty #QueenElizabeth on several occasions. It makes me deeply sorry to hear of her passing."
George Takei, actor and activist
"Queen Elizabeth II has passed away at age 96. In her time, the Queen saw a country and indeed a world transformed. There shall be none other like her."
William Shatner, Star Trek actor
“Very saddened to learn of about the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth."