Mourners up and down the country have been leaving flowers and gifts for Queen Elizabeth II who died at the age of 96 in Balmoral over a week ago. 

The last time a similar outpouring of emotion occurred in Britain was in the aftermath of Princess Diana’s fatal car crash in 1997 when thousands of people paid their respects to the late Princess of Wales. 

Hundreds of volunteers have taken it upon themselves to remove plastic packaging from the Queen’s floral tributes to make it easier for them to be composted. 

Royal Parks, a charity which manages London’s eight Royal Parks, has asked mourners to only leave organic materials in the interests of sustainability. 

What will happen to the floral tributes to the Queen?

The Northern Echo: Floral tributes laid for the Queen Floral tributes laid for the Queen (Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA)

In the weeks following the death of Princess Diana 25-years-ago, an estimated 60 million flowers were laid before being removed 11 days later. 

The flowers left for Diana were composted for use in the gardens of Kensington Palace while the better-preserved ones were sent to nursing homes and hospitals. 

In the case of the Queen, floral tributes at Buckingham will be removed after 12 hours and placed in the tribute area of Green Park. 

According to Royal Parks, the tributes will be removed a week to two weeks after the Queen’s funeral (Monday 19).

The charity has said that flowers placed in its parks will eventually be taken to Hyde Park nursery for processing and be used as compost, while the labels, cards and plastic wrappings will be recycled. 

What will happen to tributes that cannot be recycled? 

The Northern Echo: Tributes left to the late Queen Tributes left to the late Queen (Image: Victoria Jones/PA)

Royal Parks have asked mourners not to leave non-degradable gifts such as teddy bears and balloons in the interest of sustainability but have said they will not prevent anyone from doing so. 

The charity said that it would not dispose of teddies and other items and would “work closely” with its partners to decide what to do with them.