The reign has ended


Photo Provided by Melissa Lewis – Flowers gathered around Buckingham Palace in remorse of Queen Elizabeth II’s death.

May Lewis, Staff Writer

On September 8th, 2022, around 3:10 pm, the longest-serving monarch passed. After being in office for 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II died at 96 while at her Scotland estate. Her death had a worldwide impact, and many people mourned and reflected on her reign. The Queen was cherished by all, from Europe to even North America; her death was truly a sadness. Even if you were not directly impacted by her death, she will always remain a respected individual.

    For some in the RJ Reynolds community, the Queen’s death was a shock. English teacher Jenna Whitener has a connection to the Queen’s death that many people do not have. Whitener explains that because her mom is Canadian, she followed the Queen’s whereabouts and grew up with many traditions, as Canada is a part of the Commonwealth and the Queen was a figurehead. 

    “Throughout my mom’s entire childhood, [the Queen] was someone who was really important to her that she constantly looked up to,” Whitener said. “I think not having that person anymore and not having that consistency, and such a rapidly changing world really affected her.” 

    Whitener discussed that although she has a connection with the Queen, many of her students just used this as an excuse to try to get school off. Students today look for any reason to get off school, even if it’s a critical historical moment like this one. The Queen’s death is an important moment to remember, and students should take advantage of these moments while they can learn about them.

    Whitener discussed the world’s changes, such as a new monarch, modern changes to the system and currency, and many changes that will take time. She stresses that this process will take time, but the United Kingdom is moving rapidly into this significant change, moving in a new monarch.

    Junior Ellie Reynolds also shares these sentiments involving the Queen’s death. Reynolds couldn’t believe such an iconic figure was gone. 

    “When I found out the Queen died, I was so shocked because she’s been the Queen of England for all of recent history,” Reynolds said. “Her impact on the culture and politics of England really shaped how most people view the monarchy.”

    Reynolds explained that the death of the Queen was impactful, even to those that did not have a connection with her. The Queen’s success and her “positions of political power” widely affected women worldwide due to her young position. The Queen was such a large part of history and such a figure to look up to because she was a female in such a powerful place. This marked a big part of history for not having a man to rely on in office.

    Although most of the US was not impacted, this is still a time to reflect on this important figurehead. Instead of trying to get school off, students should take a chance to look over how important she was and acknowledge her achievements in history. Within the coming months, the United Kingdom will not only be going through a process of grief, but they will also have to make some decisions that will impact their country for generations to come.