TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As people in Great Britain and around the world mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II, local Brits are remembering their country’s longest-serving monarch.
“She managed to set an example for the world and we’re not gonna see the likes of her again,” said Wilton Morley, the owner of Mad Dogs and Englishmen in South Tampa. “She’s an impossible act to follow really. Everyone wishes the King well, but it’s very much the end of an era.”
A younger picture of the Queen is prominently displayed at the British Pub that Morley has owned since 1991.
“She’s been very much part of my life and she was an extraordinary woman,” Morley said.
The BBC has been on the bar’s TV all day as patrons and staff learned the sad news from across the pond.
Morley was born in 1952, the same year Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne. He still recalls the one time he met the Queen when he was 21 years old at a theater opening.
“We’d arranged for some opera singers to stand on the stage when she and Prince Phillip got up and greeted them,” Morley said. “And when she got to the last opera singer she said, ‘are you about to burst into song?’ And the woman said ‘yes, we are’ and she said, ‘just give us a minute to get clear’ which I thought was very funny. She had a wonderful sense of humor.”
During her reign as the longest-living British monarch, Morley said the queen managed to not take sides as she dealt with 15 different British Prime Ministers.
“She’s remained apolitical her whole life whether or not Charles can remain apolitical is another thing,” he said.
Buckingham Palace announced Queen Elizabeth passed away peacefully Thursday afternoon surrounded by members of the Royal Family at her Scottish residence.
“I think people will remember where they were today,” Morley said. “It’s a huge upheaval for the British people even though it’s been anticipated.”