See photos of the world mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II

bbraving strong wind and rain, a silent line of mourners wound their way to the wrought-iron gates of Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh on Friday, patiently waiting their turn to read the official announcement, Queen Elizabeth II passes. On one side, bouquets of flowers piled against the granite wall of a makeshift memorial garden – most with heartfelt messages attached to the only monarch most Britons have ever known.

In the United Kingdom, the death of the Queen left a gap. At Balmoral Castle, where Britain’s longest-reigning monarch died at the age of 96 on Thursday afternoon, the flowers continue to pile up. At London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, a service of prayer and reflection on Friday was attended by 2,000 members of the public, as well as the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and UK Prime Minister Liz Truss, who last saw Queen Elizabeth on Tuesday when she asked to form a government. Trots is the 15th Prime Minister the Queen has met; the first was Winston Churchill.

Edinburgh, Scotland (Michael Vince Kim for TIME)

Edinburgh, Scotland

Michael Vince Kim for TIME

Arrival at 18:30 on Thursday evening, the unpleasant news hit the British hard. Most were at home or flocking to the pubs to enjoy an after-work libation. Within hours, a crowd of thousands gathered outside Buckingham Palace in London in solemn commemoration, eventually erupting into muffled chants of “God Save the King” when Charles III arrived on Friday at a home he had known for 70 years as a prince but now entered as a sovereign for the first time. Accompanied by Queen Consort Camilla, the new king, dressed in a dark suit, greeted the crowd as he viewed the tributes left to his revered, late mother.

Read more: The death of Queen Elizabeth may cause some countries to change their ties with the British monarchy

“[Queen Elizabeth] it encompasses so much of what Britain is,” Eleanor Allingham of Edinburgh told TIME outside Buckingham Palace on Thursday. “She was a huge role model for everyone, every woman, every British person.”

But the Queen was actually the constitutional head of state of 14 other nations, including Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Belize, Jamaica, Tuvalu, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. All also pay their respects. IN statement, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said, “For most Canadians, we have never known another sovereign. She would declare that “it was good to be home” when returning to her beloved Canada. She was truly at home here and Canadians never stopped loving her back.”

Edinburgh, Scotland (Michael Vince Kim for TIME)

Edinburgh, Scotland

Michael Vince Kim for TIME

At the same time, the Queen’s death reignited debate over the legacy of the British Empire, which was already in decline at the time of her coronation in 1953. In her place, the Commonwealth of Independent Former Colonies maintained close ties to their former empress. In Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, people were glued to their televisions for the latest news about the mysterious royal funeral rites.

Read more: What we know so far about Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral

Yet, amid the outpourings of grief and gratitude in far-flung realms, the questions will blare louder and bolder as to why King Charles III should now be their head of state from thousands of miles away. Last year, Barbados decided to become a republic, although it will remain part of the British Commonwealth. Other nations will struggle with similar sentiments. Adam Band, leader of the Australian Green Party, published condolences to the Queen’s family on Twitter, but adding “Now Australia must move on… [and] become a republic.”

— With reporting by Yasmin Serhan/London

London, England (Olivia Harris for TIME)

London, England

Olivia Harris for TIME

London, England (Jamie Hawkesworth for TIME)

London, England

Jamie Hawkesworth for TIME

London, England (Olivia Harris for TIME)

London, England

Olivia Harris for TIME

London, England (Olivia Harris for TIME)

London, England

Olivia Harris for TIME

Buckingham Palace, London, England (Stuart Franklin—Magnum Photos for TIME)

Buckingham Palace, London, England

Stuart Franklin—Magnum Photos for TIME

Buckingham Palace, London, England (Stuart Franklin—Magnum Photos for TIME)

Buckingham Palace, London, England

Stuart Franklin—Magnum Photos for TIME

Tom Hartley, the newly appointed British High Commissioner, in Nassau, Bahamas (Melissa Alsena for TIME)

Tom Hartley, the newly appointed British High Commissioner, in Nassau, Bahamas

Melissa Alcena for TIME

Nassau, Bahamas (Melissa Alcena for TIME)

Nassau, Bahamas

Melissa Alcena for TIME

A Holiday Toast to a Life Well Lived at a Nevis Liquor Store (Casey Jeffers for TIME)

A festive toast to a life well lived at a Nevis liquor store

Casey Jeffers for TIME

Stamps at the Nevis Philatelic Office in Nevis, an island in the Caribbean Sea (Casey Jeffers for TIME)

Stamps at the Nevis Philatelic Office in Nevis, an island in the Caribbean Sea

Casey Jeffers for TIME

Ras Iroy, 55, community organizer and activist, Nevis (Casey Jeffers for TIME)

Ras Iroy, 55, community organizer and activist, Nevis

Casey Jeffers for TIME

Nelson, New Zealand (Taziana Chipsanava for TIME)

Nelson, New Zealand

Tatiana Chipsanava for TIME

Buckingham Palace, London, England (Jamie Hawkesworth for TIME)

Buckingham Palace, London, England

Jamie Hawkesworth for TIME

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Write to Charlie Campbell c [email protected].

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