British natives living in Michigan share impact of Queen's death |

2022-09-10 06:25:53 By : Ms. Linda Yu

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — After more than 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II has died. She was 96 and passed away at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. 

Queen Elizabeth II was Britain's longest reigning monarch. And thousands of miles away, West Michiganders who are British natives are feeling the impact. 

"It was rough," Adam Mills says. "(I) shed a tear." He had heard the news before coming in to work at Brass Ring Brewing. 

"It's been pretty hard," he says. "It felt a lot like when Diana died. So I was 11 when all that all went down."

Mills grew up in Newcastle Upon Tyne in northeast England. 

"If distance wasn't a problem, if it was just like, you know, a case of snapping your fingers, I'd rather be back there right now," he says.

Mill has lived here since 2015, and he says it's hard to be away from home right now. 

"I've got a couple of customers in who are British who come in because we do predominantly like British ales and stuff here," he says. "So like, I think (they) just want a little bit of home comfort, when you're so far away."

One of those customers is Terry Hambleton, who comes here for a tease of home with an English style ale. 

"I was born outside London. I grew up in Norfolk where the (royal) summer residence was," he says. "We would go there every year with the hope that maybe we would see the queen."

He moved away more than 20 years ago, and he knows many things are going to change back home now that Charles is king. 

"I think is going to change a lot. Simply because from a state point of view, you've got all these changes goal, you know, the postboxes, the coins, the notes, all that sort of stuff has to change. Because it's going from a queen to a king," Hambleton says. 

While both say they weren't entirely shocked by the news because of the Queen's declining health, they're both saddened by the news. 

"It was for me, if anything, just a bit strange that I was feeling as strongly about it as I was earlier," Mills says. "I'll take a minute."

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