SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — In a period of grieving, but a moment so grand, one chant can define this point in time for the royal family whose succession lives on.
“The queen is dead, long live the king,” Courtney Lehmann, University of the Pacific professor, said.
After 70 years on the throne, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II passed away Thursday.
“It’s a very sad time today,” Sharmila King, University of the Pacific professor, said.
The country’s longest-serving monarch spent time all over the world in her 96 years of life, even in Sacramento back in 1983. Congressman John Garamendi was a California senator that year, and he remembers that visit clearly.
“So, we got worried about this. I was one of the leaders in the California State Senate at the time,” Garamendi said.
As a state senator in the ‘80s, Garamendi said they had a rambunctious group of lawmakers in the Capitol who were all told to straighten up their act for her majesty’s arrival.
“Before she arrived. All the state senators were assembled in the Senate chambers. And we were given a very strict protocol,” Garamendi recalled. “Okay, the queen is coming. You’re going to stand tall, put your shoulders back and greet the queen, but do not offer your hand. If she offers her hand, you may, but don’t squeeze.”
And when the queen arrived, Garamendi said he was a bit star-struck.
“Absolutely, wonderfully charming,” Garamendi said. “Obviously, for me, that was quite a day.”
For British native and professor Sharmila King, the queen was a stabilizing force in life.
“She’s like a steady hand. There’s all this turbulence going on right now, but then she’s always there. And it feels like even though we’re living in such a dynamic world and some things are good and some things are bad, right through all this change, she’s there. She’s the constant and that kind of gives you — She’s almost like an anchor in the sea of change,” King said.
As a girl growing up in the UK, for King, the queen, was a role model who will always be remembered as a class act and for always putting her nation and its people first.
“She is going to be very much missed. And I don’t think she can easily be replaced even though King Charles III, her eldest son is taking over. He’s got some really big shoes to fill,” King said.