Whitman community reflects on the passing of Queen Elizabeth II

Abby Malzewski, Editor-in-Chief

On Sept. 8, the world was faced with the news that Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96. Queen Elizabeth II was the United Kingdom’s longest-serving monarch and reigned for 70 years. Her eldest son has now been elevated to the throne as King Charles III.

The impact of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing has been felt all around the world, including here on Whitman campus. 

Senior Izzy Mullins has citizenship in the United Kingdom and discussed how most of her family lives there. 

“I used to watch the Queen’s speeches/events with my Grannie in England as a kid, and as much as my Grannie despised the royal family, it still became a tradition and a part of my childhood memories,” Mullins said. “I heard the Queen had died in the hallway on my way to class, and I was hit with a lot more sadness and grief than I expected.”

Associate Professor of History Lynn Sharp also reflected on Queen Elizabeth II’s impact and her lasting legacy.

“After her extraordinarily long and stable reign, Queen Elizabeth II’s passing will certainly change the monarchy,” Sharp said. “But that isn’t a new thing. Newly crowned monarchs have always adapted to their eras.”

Sharp pointed to the fact that under his new reign, King Charles III must make alterations or the monarchy will suffer. While it is a cherished and beloved institution, the monarchy is also expensive and not without its controversies. 

“What remains to be seen is how much staying power the monarchy will have in the Commonwealth and whether the many countries willing to have Queen Elizabeth II as their Head of State will be as comfortable with King Charles III,” Sharp said.

While she did not contribute a personal speculation, Sharp pointed to the fact that many Commonwealth countries count on their relationship within the Commonwealth.  

“They might follow the example Barbados set last December to become Republics within the Commonwealth,” Sharp said. “This would modify while still continuing the influence the British Empire has had in shaping today’s world.”