There have been many moving tributes following the death of the Queen – and black cab taxi drivers lined up along The Mall has become a symbol of love and respect.
Shortly after Buckingham Palace announced the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday, dozens of black-cab drivers made their way to The Mall, facing Buckingham Palace. Rows of public-hire taxis filled the famous street as thousands of mourners made their way to the palace to pay their respects.
The spontaneous gesture by the drivers was widely acknowledged, with ITV News reporter Paul Brand posting the above image on Twitter, calling the scene “incredibly moving”.
As up to 50 black cabs lined The Mall in silence, drivers paid their respects to the Royal Family outside the historic landmark many pass several times a day, often pointing out the royal residence to tourists.
Many got out of their cabs and looked towards the palace with their heads bowed, while others sat in their taxis remembering the monarch whose 70-year reign they had celebrated during the summer.
As images of the taxi drivers’ tribute were shared around the world, praise for the cabbies poured in, with many on social media having been deeply moved by the gesture.
Among the posts highlighted by London’s Evening Standard newspaper is one which said: “What they are doing is a lovely thought.”
Another read: “Many thanks for showing your respect in this way.”
A further post added: “Good old cabbies, they always get it so right. God bless them.”
And heaping praise on the drivers, another said: “Brilliant, shows why the black cabbie is the best in the world.”
Taxi drivers led a similar tribute following the death of Prince Phillip last year, but such was the scale of the cabbies’ tribute to Her Majesty that police closed The Mall before hundreds more could join them.
Since Thursday’s announcement, Buckingham Palace and other royal households have become shrines to the late Queen with tens of thousands of bouquets of flowers being left in memory of the country’s longest-serving monarch.
As well as remembering the Queen, visitors to Buckingham Palace have also been able to offer their condolences to King Charles III and Queen’s Consort Camilla as they mourn the loss of Queen Elizabeth and carry out their public duties.
With the eyes of the world on their every move, it is taxi drivers who perfectly sum up the mood of the nation and the close relationship many felt they had with the Queen.
Veteran taxi driver and Londoner Michael Ackerman told the Press Association: “We’re both from London. Liz is a London girl … she’s one of your own, she’s one of ours.”
After 24 hours laying at rest at St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, the Queen’s coffin will be brought to London today where it will lie in state for four days, until her funeral on Monday.
The capital is braced for queues of mourners stretching for miles as people from around the world want to pay their respects.
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