They were asked not to bring flowers, a request the royal household said was due to Covid-19 restrictions. It was an appeal supported by Downing Street. Nevertheless, over the weekend, the crowds flocked to lay bouquets and wreaths at the gates of Sandringham, Buckingham Palace, Balmoral, Holyroodhouse and Windsor Castle.
It was important, mourners said, to thank the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, for his many years of service to the UK and its dominions and to demonstrate "what the monarchy means to people".
At Windsor, where Philip's body lies in state and where I spent Sunday morning with those who had come to pay their final respects, I was able to read the cards and messages of condolence placed with the tributes at the Long Walk gate, to the south of the queen's sprawling residence here.