Bidding Farewell

Sarasotans Mourn Queen Elizabeth II's Death

Britain's longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, died Thursday afternoon at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She was 96. Here's how locals are remembering her.

By Kim Doleatto September 9, 2022

Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor of England waving.

Queen Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor of England.

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-reigning monarch in British history, died yesterday. She was 96 years old and had just celebrated 70 years on the throne earlier this year.

The queen died at Balmoral Castle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, a “summer retreat she loved. Scotland was her summer place,” says Scots Corner owner Cathy Wilson. Scots Corner is a family business; Wilson's late mother ran the shop, which is located on 17th Street, for 37 years before her.

Wilson says Scots Corner has been milling with mourning shoppers seeking out all the must-haves for organizing an honorary tea in response to the news, like scones, shortbread and Earl Grey and Yorkshire tea blends–"with milk," she's quick to add.

The mourning isn't only relegated Sarasota's UK contingent. Cory Woomert, an American hairstylist at Luxe Salon and Day Spa, is among them, too.

“I'm not English, but I adore the queen and the royal family. Having watched them over time I just feel very connected," he says. "I've always been fascinated by the longevity of the establishment. I studied its history and watched every documentary. I've always been a loyalist and an Anglophile."

Woomert and his colleagues are wearing black and pausing for tea time at 2 p.m. today, with “shortbread, scones, clotted cream and jam,” he says. 

"I choked up yesterday. I'm not OK with this," he says. "It just kind of hit me. My parents weren't even born when she was crowned. She's just a constant figure."

Queen Elizabeth's role as sovereign now passes to her first-born son, Charles, who will be known as King Charles III.

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born in London on April 21, 1926. At birth, she stood third in the line of succession to the throne and was not expected to become monarch; however, her father unexpectedly became king after his brother, King Edward VII, abdicated the throne in 1936. She became queen in 1952, at 25, after her father, King George VI, died, and presided over the United Kingdom and its Commonwealth for seven decades.

In a more formal event open to the public, downtown Sarasota's Church of the Redeemer will hold a requiem for the former queen next Thursday, September 15, at 6 p.m. Church of the Redeemer is an Episcopal church and a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, with special ties to the Church of England.

The service will include a brass quartet, timpani and choir. Songs of special significance to the queen will be performed throughout the service, including the hymn “Jerusalem” and “All People That on Earth Do Dwell.”

This Sunday, parishioners will also sing "God Save the Queen" during the 9 and 11 a.m. services.

Thursday's service will also be live-streamed on RedeemerSarasota.org, its Facebook page and YouTube channel

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