‘She’s going to be missed immensely:’ Area British natives react to Queen Elizabeth II’s death

British natives living in the region are expressing sorrow over the death Thursday of Queen Elizabeth II, the United Kingdom’s longest-reigning monarch and the only one they have ever known.

“It’s a loss of an amazing woman who basically sacrificed their life for our country,” said Michael Morgan, who along with his wife, Rosemary, owns Central Perc European Café on Far Hills Avenue in Oakwood. “You know, that lifestyle is not for the faint-hearted and she did it so well. She’s going to be missed immensely.”

Morgan, originally from the Liverpool area in northwest England, said he was surprised by its affect on him emotionally.

“You know, you’re waking up tomorrow and … the identity of your people just changed,” he said. “She meant more to me than I realized.”

British native Adrian Shergill, owner of The Last Queen gastropub in Enon, said news of the queen’s passing has left him sad for his country, but in awe of Her Majesty’s legacy.

“It’s one of those things that you know is inevitable, but when it happens, it really strikes you,” he said Thursday afternoon. “It’s really hard to sum up my emotions because she’s been my queen all my life.”

Shergill and his wife, Maggie, along with their two children, moved to Ohio from Southampton, a maritime city in the south of England, in August 2021. The family then opened the gastropub, which is named after Queen Elizabeth.

“The name was a nod to her; the idea of calling it The Last Queen and wondering whether she might be the last queen, at least in my lifetime,” Shergill said. “She’s been a very respected individual in our family … I think she was just a phenomenal, amazing lady, and very faithful to the country and to God.”

Shergill shared a memory in which one of his daughters had written a letter to Queen Elizabeth, inviting her to tea. “Buckingham Palace actually responded back and sent us a letter, so we have that hanging at our pub,” he said.

Reflecting on what the future may hold for his home country, Shergill said he believes there will be an initial grieving period for all citizens.

“Obviously, the throne will go to Charles, so we’ll see how that plays out,” he said. “But, I think for the next week or so, the country is going to be in mourning and reflecting on the impact that she’s had.”

“The thing is, I don’t think she was just the Queen of England, I think she was loved everywhere.”

Morgan, who said he is not an “avid royalist” but wouldn’t want to be without the monarchy, advised Charles to try to carry on.

“Obviously, he has an amazing act to follow, and I think he knows that,” he said.

Chris James of Beavercreek said the queen’s death was “quite surreal.”

“It’s the kind of news you knew was coming, yet it’s a shock when it finally comes,” he said. “She was always a constant and she was loved by everyone around the world. It’s a huge loss for my country.”

James, 46, has lived in the U.S. since 2001. He said the queen did not express her opinion on issues, adding she was in the background and knew the limits of the monarchy. “She was the glue that held everything,” he said.

As to the queen’s son and successor, King Charles III, James said, " he has big shoes to fill.”

“I think he will do fine,” James said. “How long he’ll serve as king, I’m not sure.”

At age 73, King Charles will be the oldest person to ascend to the British throne.

James said, “Brits as a whole, like the monarchy. It’s not going away soon.”



Tim Benford, 75, of Oakwood, who was born and raised in England and went to the Royal Air Force College Cranwell at 18 and stayed in the RAF until he was 38, twice saw the Queen in person. The first time was in 1962, when he was in a contingent of RAF cadets at Solihull School

“She actually inspected us,” he said. “Her Majesty kind of just walked in front of me as we lined up at attention.”

The second time was at a distance in the early 1970s when he managed to get tickets to a garden party at Buckingham Palace.

Benford, who was posted to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in the Foreign Liaison Office in 1975 for three years, retired from the RAF and emigrated to the United States in 1985.

He said over the years, residents of the United Kingdom get to know the Queen and members of the Royal Family through print and television news, social media and books.

Meanwhile, the Queen gets to know many world leaders.

“The Queen has got to know 15 (UK) prime ministers, so she’s lived through every kind of crisis since 1953 ‘til to date and you kind of have to be proud of her for that. We get to know them and appreciate the work that she’s done.”

Benford lauded the Queen for working “non-stop” for her entire life, never retiring.

“She was a very hard-working lady,” he said. “Even on Tuesday, after signing in the new prime minister, she was supposed to go to a Privy Council meeting and wasn’t well enough to go,” he said. “It just shows you how dedicated she is, but (she) just kind of ran of steam, you know. Obviously, old age caught up with her and she kind of gracefully faded away … so you have to be you have to be proud of the effort that she’s put in. And I’m sure Charles will put in a great job as the new head of state.”

As the Queen, she was consulted on everything.

“Even though she can’t get the government to change its mind, she provides advice and so it’s rather nice having a very knowledgeable and senior adviser who has all kinds of connections,” he said. “She has given a lot of counsel over the years to the political leaders of the country, so that why she’s so revered.”