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The Queen is Dead

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by Rebecca Dance

The Queen is dead. 

The day has come. I am in the middle of a presentation about the Writing Center when all phones in the classroom begin buzzing or flashing. There is a moment of confusion before a single voice breaks through: “Hey everyone, I know this is wildly off topic but the Queen just died”. 

Chaos. The professor has lost control of her class – everyone is texting or reading the news. I am checking my phone. Three separate group chats are going off about Queen Elizabeth’s demise. It was certainly not something that I was expecting to occur on a Thursday at the beginning of September. 

This doesn’t really affect my life in any significant ways: I am not a British citizen, and I have no immediate plans to travel to the United Kingdom for anything, nor do I know anyone who will be affected by this in a significant way. However, it’s still significant. The longest reigning monarch of all time is dead. Thinking about her lifetime, it’s hard not to think about all of the things that she witnessed. She even lived long enough to see her life portrayed in a Netflix series; long enough to meet her great-grandchildren. 

In true American fashion, however, I have to pull the conversation away from the Queen a little bit. Thinking about her lifetime makes me think about all the things that I have seen in my significantly shorter lifetime. Those of us in college right now have seen a lot of things. Maybe not as many things as Queen Elizabeth, but there should be no doubt that we have lived through history. Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered.