British students and residents in Triangle react to Queen Elizabeth's passing

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Friday, September 9, 2022
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The news of Queen Elizabeth II's passing echoed from the halls of RDU to the campus of Duke University Thursday.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The news of Queen Elizabeth II's passing echoed from the halls of RDU to the campus of Duke University Thursday.

"She's been an icon throughout her life and dedicated her whole life to the country," said Joan Willets.

Wlllets was catching the flight from RDU to Heathrow Thursday. Julia Lovell was on the same flight.

"She's done a lot for the environment and she's kept the royal family together," Lovell said.

Over at Duke, three British students told Eyewitness News about what kind of day it's been.

"I wish I was there but mostly it's just disbelief, it's not really sunk in yet," said freshman Natalia Immordino. .

She joined her sister Sophia who is a sophomore this year in Durham.

They both grew up in London.

"She really is the figurehead of our nation and it's quite surreal to be honest," Natalia said. "The role she's had for all girls to be honest for 70 years. She's the matriarch. She's been there as one of the only leading women for this long and that itself is incredible."

Rigby Swarovski-Adams, a freshman, said he's been glued to this phone all morning.

"Even if you don't believe in the monarchy as an establishment, you should believe in her as a person and her values which helped guide England through the tough times," he said.

Steve Cain, president of the Triangle chapter of the British-American Business Council, was in Cleveland for a meeting of all 22 chapters.

He has lived in Raleigh since the early 1990s and said at least a beer or two will be had in her honor.

"My views have changed and I think she's been a great ambassador and a great and difficult act to follow," Cain said.

"It's just somebody who--you see her face everywhere you go--that's the only reason people were coming to London," Sophia Immordino said.