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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Aisha Rimi

Flowers left for the Queen in Royal Parks as cleanup operation after the funeral begins

AFP via Getty Images

The clean-up operation has begun after thousands of people queued in London to see the Queen’s lying in state and to witness her funeral, with many laying floral tributes for the late monarch across the Royal Parks in recent days.

The queue to Westminster Hall, where the Queen’s coffin was lying in state, began in Southwark Park, about five miles away.

Council officials said they had completed a full inspection of the line’s route through the borough and cleared any litter.

Southwark Council said that, after a brief pause for the funeral, staff would continue to work with government officials and the events company involved “to make sure that Southwark Park, in particular, is fully open and returned to its former splendour”.

In Southwark Park alone, many staff worked 24 extra hours over the four days of the lying in state to keep the green space clean, the council said.

An estimated seven tonnes of additional litter was gathered and removed over the same period.

Catherine Rose, cabinet member for parks, streets and clean air at the council, said: “Southwark has been proud, on behalf of its residents and local government as a whole, to play its role during this historic time in our nation’s history.

“We’ve carried out extra street cleansing and waste collections to keep the queue clean and tidy, and ensure all mourners had a safe and pleasant experience.”

Members of the public view floral tributes left in Green Park (Getty Images)
Staff heading to affected areas to begin the cleanup operation (Zoe Tidman)

She added: “We know that for thousands of mourners, their memory of Southwark Park is the starting point to their personal journeys of reflection and paying their respects. We welcome them to return at any point in the future.”

Westminster City Council said it had deployed additional teams to ensure the areas affected by the funeral were kept clean and presentable and to return central London to normal following a period of mourning.

Floral tributes remain at the royal parks for the next seven to 14 days (Zoe Tidman)

Following the funeral, staff are being deployed into affected areas as soon as possible, starting at Parliament Square, with more than 150 people and 19 vehicles in 11 teams to help clear litter and remove the sand on roads, to prepare for central London reopening.

As a mark of respect, street cleaning vehicles have been dressed in black ribbons and council workers have worn black bows while on duty, the council said.

Royal Parks staff will monitor the floral tribute and remove any that have deteriorated to the Hyde Park nursery (Zoe Tidman)

London Mayor Sadiq Khan tweeted: “I want to thank the hundreds of thousands who came to London today and in the past week to pay their respects to Her Majesty The Queen.

“Countless police officers, emergency service staff, transport workers, volunteers, stewards, military, civil servants, local government, businesses, charities and other agencies have worked tirelessly to make this possible in our city. My sincerest thanks to everyone involved.”

All the flowers will eventually be processed for composting at Kensington Gardens (Zoe Tidman)

During the period of national mourning, both Green Park and Hyde Park have provided locations for members of the public to lay floral tributes to the Queen.

They are expected to be removed from seven to 14 days after the funeral. Royal Parks staff will continue to monitor the floral tributes, and if any have deteriorated, they will be removed and taken to the Hyde Park nursery for processing, to be prepared for composting at Kensington Gardens.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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