Teachers and Students Comment on the Passing of the Queen

Issue 2, Volume 113

By The News Department 

“It was surprising, though it shouldn’t have been given her age. But when a person has been around and in the public for so long, there is a feeling that they will always be there. I am not sure if the death of the Queen impacts the United States directly. I suppose that Charles’s ascendancy to the throne reinvigorates the debate over the value of the monarchy and were the monarchy to be dissolved it could impact the U.S. but this seems remote. I am personally completely opposed to the monarchy; it is the antithesis of democracy and pluralism, lacks transparency and is exclusionary. But I will say that as a person, Queen Elizabeth seemed to have a dignity and grace that is sorely needed among world leaders. That will be missed.” —Ellen Siegel, social studies teacher

“While the Queen's death was sudden, she was at an age where death is never unexpected. In addition, I don’t believe that the British royal family serves any purpose anymore. I feel that it is counterproductive for a first-world country to be using a monarchy as a figurehead. The only real reason that the royal family is still ‘in power’ is for ceremonial purposes.” —Adina Salant, sophomore

“In AP Spanish, we were shown a video where upon hearing of the Queen’s death, an Argentinian man celebrated publicly on live television […] I personally understood [the] reaction because Britain has a history of bloodshed and violence over the past centuries. There were wars in Argentina in the 80s and it could’ve affected him. I understand that [the Queen] does not hold actual military power, but as someone that represents a nation, people will make their own judgements about her. I just think there’s too much online mockery, especially from Americans.” —Joanna Meng, junior

“Honestly, the British government just lost a huge figurehead. I think people in the U.S. are just going to move on, because it doesn’t really affect us. In the U.K., people will definitely feel more strongly about the loss and [there will be] larger ramifications culturally and politically. Long live the Queen. Justice for Princess Diana.” —Giridhar Bonu, senior

“I do think that the Queen’s death will affect us, even if it’s not politically. She was an important figure in history and in the present, so her death may have some cultural implications. Even immediately after her death, people started making memes, a lot of them calling her a colonizer.” —Huda Berri, sophomore

“I think for the first time, there’s been a discussion around whether the monarchy is needed, and it’s the first that it’s come up in the context of a death of a monarch. That issue has been around for a while, a number of years, but I think her passing has brought that up again.

If you have Charles III as a stable monarch, I don’t think there will be much of an impact at all. If he’s an unstable monarch like either [of] the two other monarchs, [Charles] I who lost his head and his son Charles II, then I think the monarchy will have an issue.” —Mordecai Moore, social studies teacher

“[For] Britain, being the force that it was, in imperial times and even now, the Queen is a symbol of that and she upheld that standard for a lot of people. I know […] India has been trying to get back their diamond that was used for her crown. Her death will have ramifications, but I’m not sure what they’re gonna be.” —Shreya Das, junior

“It was pretty sad but it didn’t affect me in any way at all. It’s not really relevant to who I am so I wasn’t really impacted. I think the news we see on TV about royalty is going to be really different from now on. There are probably going to be a bunch of documentaries about the Queen.” —Abigail Cho, freshman

“[The Queen] had more of a ceremonial role than an active one, but she still had an impact on people. Her death could be seen as part of the end of an era of British history as her long reign stretched back to when the British empire still somewhat existed. Although her role has been passed on to King Charles, I do not think there will be any more monarchs with her image. Her stoic personality preserved the prestige of royalty in contrast to other members of her family. There likely won’t be any other monarchs with an upbringing like hers or the situation that resulted in her becoming Queen at such a young age.” —Riasat Audhy, junior

“I had no idea that the Queen had passed until the news started spreading on social media. My initial reaction to her passing was shock. I remember texting one of my friends and talking about how we both expected her to live past 100. It was so sudden because Britain had just changed prime ministers a few days earlier. While I didn’t know much about the Queen, I did hold a sense of respect for her. She always seemed so glamorous and composed. The Queen’s death only leads Britain into a period of uncertainty. However, I don’t think that the British will have a hard time adapting to the now King Charles, especially because of how long he’s already been in public attention.” —Vicky Lin, senior

“She was really old so there wasn’t any surprise there [her death], but it is disappointing because she was a role model for other monarchs. She was a role model by being a partner in the constitutional process, but not getting too involved, and that’s a delicate process.

She just did a great job of being neutral, of being respectful and respected. She was great. She was amazing. I think we could use royalty like that. We need royalty. We need somebody who can provide some stability, [whom] we can gossip about their children, and provide some stability to the political process. I think it was a real benefit. If that’s what royalty is, we can use royalty in America.” —Zachary Berman, social studies teacher

“We just view her as a figurehead of Britain, [but] for Biden and other political figures, it’s very much the loss of a friend, in a sense, someone who has seen 13 sitting presidents […] In America, most people don’t really care. Nobody is going around for six days mourning […] so it’s not affecting the U.S. that much.” —Sequoia Rabinovich, senior

“No offense intended toward Her Former Majesty, but I can’t help but feel indifferent toward her passing, since her role was more as a figurehead of the U.K. rather than an actual political leader. No one that I know personally connects with Queen Elizabeth. She’s mostly a diplomat for foreign nations, but the Queen’s death progresses the line of leadership forward a generation, further away from the times of imperialist Britain. It could make the U.K. less restrictive possibly or more open in world politics, but frankly, it really doesn’t really mean much in my life. She’s basically only a public figure and not a political one, and only notable due to the history of Britain and its imperialist past.” —Kelvin Zhao, senior

“Queen Eliabeth was an incredibly important figure in the last 70 years. In fact, she saw the entirety of the decolonization process of the U.K. as well as the decline of the empire. As a leader, she was incredibly humble and she portrayed the true paragon of virtue, and I really don’t think there’s anyone who can replace her. With how much trouble Charles is in and how their economy is collapsing, I don’t know if they’ll be able to retain their national identity and monarchy.” —Andrey Sokolov, senior

“In the U.K. especially, people have this tendency to be like ‘Oh no, the queen died, it’s like my grandma died.’ Your connection with her was paying taxes that paid for her cutlery. [Britain] is closing general practitioners for the day [of her funeral], closing every McDonald’s in the country for the day, [and] closing the country’s largest airport for the day because the planes will be too loud for the funeral. People have this tendency to connect her with the empire, but she didn’t really have a connection to that.” —Isaac Parker-gouy, junior

“A lot of American people are individually evaluating Queen Elizabeth’s legacy, and more generally, the British monarchy’s history of colonization. However, I don’t think there will be a huge impact on U.S. politics, since the Queen hadn’t been as involved in foreign affairs and served mostly as a figurehead in recent years.” —Charlotte Peterson, junior

“My initial reaction was more of a mixture of shock and respect since she was at a meeting like two days before her death, [but] the Queen is a political figurehead of Britain so not much of global politics will be changed.” —Richard Wang, sophomore