DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Queen Elizabeth II held the longest reign of any royal in British history, but her passing has brought mixed reaction with some criticizing the monarchy and others grieving her death.
"I was in Harris Teeter, and it comes over my phone. I just froze. It's a shock," said Raleigh resident Julia Carpenter. "For 70 years she's been our rock."
For Carpenter, Queen Elizabeth II is the only queen she's ever known. She's a founding member of Daughters of the British Empire North Carolina and grew up near Windsor marveling at Windsor Castle as a little girl. Although she's never met the queen, she has always seen herself as a grandmother.
"You feel you've met her. You feel you know her. She's been so much part of your life, on TV, out in the community. She's seen us through so many events in our country," said Carpenter.
North Carolina Central University British History professor Dr. Lydia Lindsey says there is a fixation that exists for the royal family.
"The obsession is with royalty. It goes back to the fairytales. You read them as a child and people become enamored with the queen and princess," said Dr. Lindsey.
The queen's death has drawn an outpouring of grief on social media, but equally many are criticizing her legacy.
According to Dr. Lindsey, this criticism of the monarchy comes from people living the effects of slavery and colonization today.
"I don't know if that legacy is all good," said Dr. Lindsey. "It wasn't as though people of color in Africa, Americas and the sub-continents welcomed Britain in. Britain forced their way in."