Impromptu rounds of “God save the Queen” and tears welled up among the thousands of people who gathered outside Buckingham Palace on Thursday as news of Queen Elizabeth’s death broke.

“We grew up with her always being there,” said through tears Margaret Parris, a consultant who traveled more than 30 kilometers from Epping, on the outskirts of London, after learning that the monarch was not well.

Elizabeth died at the age of 96 in her home in Scotland, leaving her eldest son, Charles, 73, as the new monarch of the United Kingdom.

A double rainbow rose over the London sky shortly before the palace posted an official notice of Elizabeth’s death on the outer gates, which Londoners and tourists alike were clamoring to see.

“It seemed like history was being made, so we ran to the palace. A very good thing for a holiday,” said Nabeel Dockrat, 26, a tourist from South Africa.

Others said they would be deeply sorry for the queen’s loss.

“She has been an example to all of us and I think she will be missed,” said Magistrate Marianne Mason, 66, who ended up going to the palace when rain called off a cricket match.

“I’m not sure anyone else could have, or she will,” she added.

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