People across Southwest Florida are honoring Queen Elizabeth after she passed away on Thursday.
King Charles III released a statement, the first since taking the role of King, shortly after the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. It said, the death of my beloved mother, Her Majesty the Queen, is a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. We mourn profoundly the passing of cherished sovereign and a much-loved mother.
The Queen was just seen on Tuesday when she appointed the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss. While speaking outside her office on Friday, Truss said the Queen had been a personal inspiration to her and to many.
But, this tragedy spreads across borders and is impacting Southwest Floridians as well. Ann Nabbs and her husband have owned the British Open Pub in Bonita Springs for more than 22 years. Elizabeth is the only Queen she’s ever known and she told WINK News she hopes the royal family endures because that’s what the Queen would want.
For more than 70 years Elizabeth was the Queen, which is the longest reigning monarch in British history, and now the world mourns her passing.
“My first reaction was sad. She’s, you know, wonderful. It’s the only Queen I’ve known,” Nabbs said.
When Nabbs heard the news that the Queen’s family was gathering around her, she put on a dress and pearls, just like the Queen.
“She was kind of superior in that way. Never did a thing wrong,” Nabbs said. “Very classy, very together. You know? I’m sure she had a moment, I’m sure she did. But she will be missed. She truly will.”
Peter Olde, from Estero, is a regular at the British Open Pub and shared some thoughts with WINK News about the Royal Family.
“It’s just the end of an era. It’s the only Queen most of us have ever known as, as the ruler of the monarchy,” Olde said. “The monarchy ruled most of the world at one point, and many of us have ancestors that came over from the UK. And I think that it’s just, we have a respect for the tradition of the monarchy.”
And, like most of the world, Nabbs will watch the live coverage of the Queen’s funeral, and the coronation of a new King.
A Naples couple happens to be visiting London while everything surrounding the death of the Queen is happening, and they’re experiencing what it’s like firsthand.
The owners of Emillions Art are in London but have had to put business aside after learning of the Queen’s passing.
The couple went to Buckingham Palace joining thousands of others to mourn and pay their respects to the Queen.
Marlissa Gardner and Neil Pennington are the owners of Emillions Art.
“It’s just a stream of people in silence, just kind of walking to Buckingham Palace,” said Pennington. “I can’t describe what made us want to go but it was just a feeling right? We just have to go.”
“I feel like I got a chance to say goodbye to the Queen and I actually did,” Gardner said.
The Queen was a larger-than-life figure who brought stability to a changing nation.
“When you look at the Queen there’s a steadfastness, constant grace, and integrity,” Pennington said.
“She showed us who, what women can do in the world,” Gardner said.
And now the King has a very tough act to follow and a lot of work ahead of him.
“It’s going to be challenging for him but I think he’s probably had a very good teacher over his lifetime,” Pennington said.
The new King is set to address the nation and the world tomorrow after returning to London.
President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden visited the British Embassy in Washington, D.C. and wrote messages in a condolence book.
The President and First Lady also released a statement on Thursday saying in part, “Queen Elizabeth II was a stateswoman of unmatched dignity and constancy who deepened the alliance between the United Kingdom and United States. She helped make our relationship special.”
Under the rules of the British Monarchy, Charles became King immediately upon the Queen’s death. His formal coronation will follow as the nation mourns the only monarch most ever knew.