CLEVELAND (WJW) – People around the world and here in Northeast Ohio are mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth II.
The popular and beloved monarch is being remembered for her ability to unite people under difficult circumstances and her commitment to public service.
“My initial feeling is obviously one of sadness,” said Luke Reader, teaching fellow at Case Western Reserve University. “Unless you’re 80-years-old, the Queen is the only head of state that you’ve known.”
Reader, who is originally from the United Kingdom, vividly recalls first seeing the Queen and learning about her as a child.
“One of my first toys was a little matchbox bust to commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977,” said Reader.
The process of saying goodbye began Thursday upon learning of the Queen’s passing, but it will continue for 10 days leading up to her funeral and including three days of Lying in State.
Banks and shops closed and Reader says politics will also stop until the funeral.
“In general, just a real sense of sorry,” he said. “You know she was a popular and beloved figure.”
Prince Charles has already officially ascended to the throne as King Charles III, but Reader says the coronation most likely will not take place for about a year.
He says, in the past, that was done so that other royals and people from across the kingdom could travel to London, but now it’s more of a transitional period.
“It helps to have time to embed that sense of transition in people’s minds,” he said.
A group of British and American business leaders who happened to be in Cleveland Thursday for meetings also took time to reflect on the Queen’s passing.
Duncan Edwards, who is chief executive for BritishAmerican Business, a leading transatlantic business organization, told FOX 8 that although they knew this day was coming, it is still very sad.
He also reflected on his time with the Queen. He met her first as a Boy Scout and later in life attending garden parties at Buckingham Palace.
“I was lucky enough to meet her on a couple of occasions,” said Edwards. ”Yes, very exciting. Everyone who’s had the chance to meet her treasures that memory.”
Both men say the Queen leaves behind big shoes to fill and a lasting legacy of public service.
“The way in which she engaged with the public, particularly post the death of Princess Diana,” said Reader. “She was very apolitical. That meant she could be a monarch for all the people.”