The Prince and Princess of Wales have paid an emotional visit to Norfolk to view tributes left at Sandringham in memory of the late Queen.

Mourners have been leaving flowers, cards and gifts at the Norwich Gates since the much-loved monarch passed away at the age of 96 on Thursday, September 8.

Today, William and Kate joined the thousands who have paused to reflect on her life beneath the towering iron gates, two miles from their country retreat at Anmer Hall.

The royal couple viewed the sea of colourful tributes which stretches away from the gateway along the roadside verge.

The Prince and Princess knelt down and read cards which had been left by mourners as thousands of people watched on from behind barriers.

They then made their way across to the well-wishers, shaking hands and engaging in conversation.

One woman held onto Kate's hand until she had finished talking to her and the Princess also received several bunches of flowers.

Mourners at the royal estate did not know the Prince and Princess were coming until earlier this morning.

Upon finding out, many stayed and the crowd packed out the barriers from about 9am.

The royal couple arrived in a convoy with their protection officers just after 12pm.

They remained outside the gates of Sandringham for about 45 minutes speaking to members of the crowd.

Karen Anvil, 44, from Watlington, near King's Lynn, said: "I told Prince William how proud we are of him and the whole of his family, they're doing us proud. They mean so much to us."

The Princess stopped to speak to children from Howard Junior School, at King's Lynn, who were in the crowd.

She led eight-year-old pupil Elizabeth Sulkovska across the road to lay flowers and a toy corgi.

School head Gregory Hill said he had been taking parties of pupils to see the flowers at Sandringham.

"We want as many children as possible to experience this," he said.

Peggy Butcher, 89, from March, a retired dry cleaner said Prince William was "very very polite". She added: "He seemed to care about us because we cared about the Queen.

“We were going to come and see the flowers then we heard on the radio they were coming so we decided to stop."

Julie Young, a 51-year-old counsellor from March said: "We asked about the children and how the children are coping with it all.

"He said he thinks George understands but the other two are not really old enough, they don’t understand."

Prince William came to Sandringham with his wife the day after he accompanied the Queen's coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall yesterday, walking with his farther, King Charles III, his brother the Duke of Sussex and other members of the Royal Family.

Caroline Barwick-Walters, who lives in Bury St Edmunds but originates from Wales said she greeted the Prince in Welsh and he replied in Welsh.

"He told us how difficult it was yesterday, walking behind the Queen's coffin," she said. "He said it brought back memories of his mother's funeral.

"I said thankyou for sharing your grief with the nation and he said: 'She was everybody's grandmother."

Jane Wells, a 54-year-old receptionist from Long Sutton, said: "I said how proud his mother would have been of him and he said it was hard yesterday because it brought back memories of his mother's funeral."

Retired dog boarder Karen Rose, 58, from North Wootton, gave Prince William a bunch of flowers.

"He said: 'I expect they're for Catherine, nobody gives me flowers.

"I said have these, my arm's aching, so he took them."

Friend Susan Stanford, 58, an A&E receptionist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn, said: "I shook hands with William, I shook hands with Kate, it's been absolutely fabulous."

Prince William, who has been confirmed as Prince of Wales by his father, King Charles III, dashed to Balmoral in Scotland as Buckingham Palace announced there were concerns over the health of his grandmother Elizabeth II.

But the much-loved monarch is understood to have passed away before the Prince, who was accompanied by Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex arrived at the castle.