LONDON — For the better part of an hour, Harry Cromack navigated closed roads and swelling crowds outside of Buckingham Palace on Friday. In his hands, he carries a bouquet of flowers that he's determined to leave at the gates of Queen Elizabeth II's London home.
The flowers weren’t his though. Cromack brought them here for both his mother and grandmother who live outside of London and couldn't make it to pay their respects in person.
"They both have a lot of admiration for the Queen," he said as he walked between barriers set up by police near the Royal Palace.
Even a blockade set up for King Charles III's arrival could not deter Cromack. After an hour on foot and at least two miles of walking, he made it with flowers in hand to the gates of Buckingham Palace, where he gently placed the bouquet amid a memorial that continues to grow here for Her Majesty the Queen of England.
"She’s been around for such a long time; that’s why so many people felt like they had to come," he added.
Cromack was not alone in on his mission to make it to Buckingham Palace just one day after the Queen died at age 96. Thelma Winterborne made the trek here as well. The 86-year-old brought flowers for her 102-year-old friend who couldn’t make it.
"It might be the last thing I can do for her," she said.
London is a city consumed in grief right now. And on every street corner is a reminder of the Monarch they’ve lost. Even in her death, Her Majesty the Queen is in many ways omnipresent.
Even Americans vacationing in the UK altered their travel plans to travel to London to witness history after her passing on Thursday, including Rick Rohr and Ingrid Swords from Colorado.
"We just wanted to feel what it was like to be here with all these thousands and thousands of people," Swords said.