Shock, sadness as Australians mourn Queen

·3-min read

Australians have reacted with shock and sadness to the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, with many laying flowers in tribute around the country or raising a glass in her honour.

Ray Dit, 73, of Altona in Melbourne's southwest, settled in for a pint with his mates at The Charles Dickens Tavern in Melbourne's CBD on Friday morning.

"She's had a remarkable influence on how the world is run - not by flying a flag and being demonstrative about things ... she just went about it quietly and had a quiet ear in a few quiet places," he told AAP.

"People have listened because of the wealth of experience that she's had."

Mr Dit's friend John Myers, age 70 from Hawthorn in Melbourne's east, reflected that people grieving for the Queen were in a way grieving for themselves as well.

"Even if you're not a thoroughly devoted monarchist, you still recall her events along with our own, and you find that she's a kind of marker for our lives," he said.

"Now she's gone, we feel a little older, and we feel that loss."

Mourners, including a busload of people from an aged care home, came to Government House in Melbourne to lay flowers and write in a book of condolences.

One message said "She was perfection", while another noted she "so gracefully did her task".

Outside Sydney's St Andrew's Cathedral in the pouring rain on Friday was Judie Dowler from Crows Nest in Sydney's north.

"It's a shock," she told AAP.

Ms Dowler, who describes herself as a royalist, managed to see the Queen several times when visiting England and wished King Charles III well.

"It's a bit sad to be going into your first job in your 70s," she said.

Claire and Edward Hayes who are on holiday in Melbourne from the US were at Government House on Friday.

"It has hit me harder than it would some Americans," an emotional Ms Hayes said.

Melburnian Pettifleur Berenger, 57 was devastated by the news of the Queen's death overnight at the age of 96.

"It's hard to even imagine life without her. She had so much humour and dignity and love for her country and the Commonwealth," Ms Berenger told AAP.

"She did not put a foot wrong."

Hearing about the Queen's passing was difficult for Sydneysider Oliver Pasusuwin whose family held a distant connection to another royal family.

"My family ancestry goes back to royalty in Thailand so I'm here to pay my respects to all the royal people," Mr Pasusuwin told AAP.

"European monarchies and Asian monarchies - they feel for each other."

As a monarchist, he believed the Queen played a decades-long role in inspiring people around the world.

"She was the grandmother of the Commonwealth," Ms Pasusuwin said.

Tasmanians Kira Barrett and Anthony Silva, who were visiting Sydney on holiday, laid flowers outside St Andrew's Cathedral with their two young children.

"It's a sad moment, it's a big day in history," Ms Barrett told AAP.

"It's important that we realise she was the glue in many situations," Mr Silva said.

British woman Elizabeth Galvin said the Queen's death was a shock as she expected her to outlive the Queen Mother, who died at the age 101.

"I suppose it's just somebody who you've always grown up with, isn't it," she said after paying her respects at Government House in Brisbane.

"You know, always somebody quietly in the background and it's, you know, the same person. As well, you know, prime ministers come and go don't they, 15 or 16. She's sort of quietly been there all the time, hasn't she."