Additional capacity added to Balmoral shuttles to take mourners to the gates

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Additional capacity has been added to park and board buses from Ballater and Braemar to take people to the gates of Balmoral to allow them to pay a personal tribute to the Queen.

Queues stretching to around 100 people, with waits of around 30 minutes, formed throughout the day on Saturday in communities across Aberdeenshire.

People from all over the country descended on Ballater and Braemar, the two villages near the estate, where shuttle buses ferry people back and forth.

People held flowers and personal tributes to the Queen as they queued to get to her precious personal home.

Mourners make long and short trips to pay their respects

James Murphy, who traveled from Peterhead, said the operation was “very well organised” and the weather was sunny.

First Bus, in coordination with Aberdeenshire Council, shuttles mourners in Ballater while Stagecoach does the same in Braemar.

The double-decker buses providing the connection can carry up to 60 people. As crowds grew, marshals also allowed up to 15 people to stand during the trip.

Lucy and Toby Baldwin from Fyvie prepare to board the buses at Ballater. Photo: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Staff working on the operation said there had been a steady stream of people wanting to make the trip since early morning.

The village of Ballater, which the Queen visited on her summer trips to Balmoral, was bustling with people eager to pay their respects to a beloved figure.

The Clark and Matthew family of eight came from Banchory on the glorious day with eight bouquets of flowers picked straight from the garden.

They said it was important for them to make the trip to “say goodbye to a wonderful woman”.

People carried flowers while waiting in queues. Photo: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Diane and Morag Lavery also from Banchory brought flowers and wanted to honor her saying “there was no one else like her”.

They plan to watch the procession, where the Queen’s body will be carried from Balmoral to Edinburgh, to their home town of Banchory, giving them a chance to say goodbye.

Stewards also searched bags as people queued at the bus stop opposite Glenmuick Church in the center of the village.

Flowers piled up outside Balmoral. Photo: Wullie Marr/DC Thomson

Isabelle Stewart of Peterhead said: “We are here because we have great respect for the Queen.

“She was a wonderful woman and we wanted to bring flowers as a sign of respect and to show that we care about her. The Queen was a very caring person and she loved Scotland.

Ms Stewart said being able to travel to Balmoral where the Queen died is an experience she is unlikely to ever forget.

Floral tributes to Ballater

Flowers were also laid at Ballater’s memorial marking the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012, showing the villages’ long affinity with the royal family.

Aberdeenshire Council has also made space in the shade of the church for floral tributes to be placed, carrying messages and heartfelt condolences.

Flowers laid in tribute to the Queen at Ballater. Photo: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

A tribute said: “With our grateful thanks for all the years of service.”

Another reaffirmed that the Queen had kept her promise to serve the British people and praised her dedication and service.

As hundreds of people lined up to make the trip to Balmoral, there was a cozy atmosphere and respect signifying the impact that the queen had on everyone.

Where to see the Queen’s funeral procession

Update: Memorial events will take place in Ballater and Aberdeen’s Duthie Park as the Queen’s motorcade heads for Edinburgh

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[Extra capacity added to Balmoral shuttle buses to take mourners to gates]

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