British-born UD student reacts to the queen’s death, calls campus reaction ‘disrespectful’

Her Majesty the Queen at an aircraft-naming ceremony in 2014. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Zoë Hill | Print Editor-in-Chief

In the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, reactions from around the world have been mixed, including those all the way over here at the University of Dayton.

When news broke that Britain’s longest-ruling monarch had died at the age of 96, Barstool Flyers planned a funeral-themed Saturday day-drink. Students gathered on Lowes Street to drink and re-enact certain funeral traditions including carrying a fake casket down the street. Students were dressed in all black or wore colonial garb and powder wigs. Twisted Teas— colloquially called “twea” — were the drink of choice, with the day being dubbed the “Boston Twea Party.”

Liana Yara, a junior communication major from the London area, was in a science class when the queen died on Sept. 8. Her friend in the class asked her if she had heard the news, and she immediately looked it up to see if it was true. She said she was met with a flood of news from all over the world. Yara said the news shocked her because of the queen’s longtime presence in Britain.

She saw the post on a Barstool Flyers’ Instagram from the day-drink and commented, calling the whole event “disrespectful.” 

“Imagine if it was your grandmother,” Yara said. 

She also mentioned spotting sheet signs mocking the queen’s death throughout the student neighborhood.

She said she gets why people play it as a joke considering the distance Americans have from the monarchy and past controversies with the royal family. She conceded that some of the jokes on TikTok do make her laugh, but disrespectfulness shouldn’t masquerade as dark humor. 

“I think with anything, people are going to make jokes,” Yara said. “Even with like 9/11, people still make jokes about that and that’s very much a sensitive topic. That’s just how it is nowadays in this generation.” 

With the queen’s death, Yara decided to educate herself on colonialism and other controversies people point to when criticizing the monarchy. From her perspective, she recognizes that the queen’s legacy means a lot to many people, including her own grandmother. However, she said she can’t speak for the entire country because the issue is complicated, but she said she has mixed views on the royal family. 

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