WEST VILLAGE, Manhattan (PIX11) — Queen Elizabeth II was beloved not only in the United Kingdom but in the United States and all over the world as well. Reaction to her death was widespread on Thursday.
At Myers of Keswick, the Union Jack flags, the pot pies, the bangers, English snacks and, of course, the pictures of the queen give any British expatriate a taste of home. The shop has been a staple in the West Village since 1972. The family-owned business was started by Jack Myers, who named it after his hometown in northwest England. Jack retired and has since moved back to the U.K. His daughter, Jennifer Myers-Pulidore, now runs the store. She said all of England is in mourning.
“I’ve been in touch with dad multiple times,” said Myers-Pulidore. “He said, ‘I’m surprised. I’m very sad.'”
Myers-Pulidore has dual citizenship, and the shop has had a steady stream of customers all day. The news is still setting in for many. The longest-reigning monarch in British history, she has been on the throne for 70 years. Brits cannot imagine a world without Queen Elizabeth. She was not only the head of state but also a popular icon.
“Whether you like the royal family, whether you feel indifferent, there’s no way to help but feel impacted by this,” said Myers-Pulidore. “It’s a huge loss not only for England but for the entire world.”
On Thursday evening at Queen Elizabeth Garden in the heart of Lower Manhattan, a vigil was held to honor the woman it was named after. The garden was created to honor the 67 British nationals who died in the 9/11 terror attacks. The CFO of the Garden, Jonathan Egan, lost both his father and aunt that tragic day.
“This garden is supported by the royal family since 2005. The inception of the garden, and it means an incredible amount to my family and myself; just having a common place to come on 9/11 means a lot,” said Egan.
The queen’s deep sense of duty to her country earned her a permanent place in the hearts of the British people, and she will be forever remembered for her unwavering service to her country. But she was loved by many from all over the world.
PIX11 News spoke with Irene Donnelly inside Myers of Keswick. She has been in the U.S. for over 15 years and speaks fondly of the queen. “She has been an institution, so iconic,” said Donnelly. “It’ll take a long time to come to terms with her passing.”