British-born local woman remembers life of Queen Elizabeth II

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – It’s a sad day for many around the world, as people mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth II. For a British native and now a resident of Panama City Beach, she remembers her queen’s long life.

Cheryl Brown was born and raised just outside London but has been a resident of Bay County for 40 years. However, she is keen to return home to Britain every two years.

Brown and Elizabeth have something in common, they were both in Africa in 1952 when her father King George VI died and she ascended the throne. But one of Brown’s fondest memories of the Queen came on her last trip back to London in June. She attended the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to celebrate her long reign. Brown said it was a unique opportunity.

“Oh it was so fabulous because we were lucky enough to stay in a hotel that was right next to Buckingham Palace and we saw all the activity of the carriage and the horses coming out of it. We were walking distance from the front of Buckingham Palace. It was just amazing to get on the bus and travel around and see all the decorations and see all the flags flying,” Brown said.

Brown said her queen’s death was something she knew would eventually happen. But she didn’t think it would be today, or soon. That’s why Brown said the Queen’s death felt like the end of an era for her life.

“Suddenly my era ended and that’s the hardest thing. At 76, it’s just a different era that we live in now and it’s the hardest thing for me to realize that the end has come. I had so much respect and love for her, her husband and her family,” Brown said.

That’s why Brown wants the Bay County community to remember the Queen not just as a great monarch.

“Just to remember her, because she was a great lady. She really was a great lady,” Brown said.

Queen Elizabeth II was Britain’s longest-serving monarch whose reign spanned more than seven decades. His eldest son, Prince Charles, will now ascend the throne as king.

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