'Thank you for being our Queen, goodnight ma'am' - Scores of Sheffielders leave floral tributes to late monarch
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As the national period of mourning continues for Her Majesty The Queen, scores of Sheffielders have left flowers in the Peace Gardens and outside Sheffield Cathedral, where many have also queued up to write in a book of condolence.
A short time after King Charles III was proclaimed at a meeting of the accession council in St James’s Palace by privy counsellors on the morning of Saturday, September 10, Jean Galice came to lay flowers for his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, in Sheffield’s Peace Gardens.
“I can’t get to Buckingham Palace or to see her lying-in-state so I thought I’d come to leave some flowers here…it’s quite emotional,” said Jean.
She added: “She’s always been our Queen, and always will be our Queen.”
Reflecting on the passing of Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, Jean, of Gleadless, added: “It’s like losing one of your family, you know. It’s come as a bit of a shock, it’s like losing one of your own.”
Jean described seeing The Queen waving as she passed in a car travelling down Haymarket during the monarch’s first visit to Sheffield in 1954 as one of her earliest memories.
“I was only three, but really remember it,” she said.
During the course of that visit, The Queen and Prince Phillip attended at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough ground, where hundreds of children gathered together to form the word ‘welcome’ by standing in lines on the pitch, while 3,000 others formed the pattern of a giant union flag
Among the messages left with flowers in The Peace Gardens is one from Pippa, which read: “Thank you for being our Queen, goodnight ma’am.”
Stuart Dixon’s 61st birthday celebrations did not get in the way of him coming to Sheffield Cathedral to take in the tributes on Saturday morning, before heading off to buy his own flowers to lay down in tribute.
Stuart, of Nether Edge, described meeting The Queen twice, first at the Yorkshire Show in Harrogate in 1977, and again during a royal visit to Leeds.
Commenting on what she was like, Stuart said: “I just talked to her, like I’m talking to you now, like a normal person.
"She had a smile on her face, and even though she was head of state, it didn’t feel like it when you were talking to her, she was just like a normal person.”
Dozens of bouquets of flowers and several candles have been left in front of the Cathedral, with many touching messages to The Queen.
One said: “R.I.P ma’am, Queen Elizabeth II. Kind, thoughtful, and a great servant to all people in the U.K and across the Commonwealth and the world. Much love, Lillibet, will miss you. Condolences to King Charles III and family.”
Another read: “To Queen Elizabeth, God bless. Now you are with Philip.”
Queen Elizabeth II died aged 96 on the afternoon of Thursday, September 8, 2022 at Balmoral.
During a poignant and sombre meeting of the Accession Council on Saturday, September 10, the King spoke movingly about his mother and the grief his family is experiencing, but said the ‘sympathy expressed by so many to my sister and brothers’ had been the ‘greatest consolation’.
A bank holiday across the UK for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II has been confirmed by King Charles III, the date for which has not yet been announced.