Gibson Southern responds to the death of the queen

While Queen Elizabeth II’s passing was felt throughout the world, did it resonate with the Gibson Southern community?


Queen Elizabeth II: April 21, 1926 to September 8, 2022

On Sept. 8, 2022, an event that many expected to be on the horizon for quite some time came to fruition. People around the world spent years in anticipation of the passing of the United Kingdom’s longest-ruling monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. While many of her nation’s people have spent their time in mourning, many others, especially those outside of the country, have much different perspectives. Because it was such an anticipated event for many, people all over the world have their own opinions on the event and its relevance to their lives. 

“At first it was shocking because I didn’t really know what was happening,” Gibson Southern senior Amelia Robinson said. “It is important for Britain, and it is important for everyone, but I don’t have too big of an opinion on it.”

The students and staff of Gibson Southern High School have many varying responses. Most people seem to not have much of an opinion on the tragedy; however, they do recognize the significance of the event.

“As far as a historical standpoint, it’s a pretty significant event,” said Gibson Southern history teacher Marvin Susott. “Personally, for me, I studied British history, and I’ve been over there a couple of times, so it was relevant in that sense. Because I studied that area, I kind of understand the significance and the complications that go with it.”

People who are interested in the monarchy, or Queen Elizabeth II herself, place more importance on her passing. For Susott, it has been an area of his study for a long time. For Gibson Southern science teacher Jane Toth, it has been an area of her personal interest.

“Well, it made me sad,” Toth said. “But, she lived 96 years, so it was a great life. It is just the end of an era.”

There is a question surrounding whether or not people, especially those outside of the United Kingdom, should be affected by such a significant event. While Queen Elizabeth II’s passing is a significant moment in history, it does not directly affect many other countries besides the United Kingdom. Most people respond that it does not matter if people were not affected by it.

“I’d say it’s just like people following celebrities,” Toth said. “It’s just sort of a fun thing, it doesn’t really affect us directly. But, you know, I’d rather follow people like the queen than Hollywood celebrities.”

Even if people do not think everyone should be affected by or interested in it, most people do find it interesting. While it is not something that most people pay an extensive amount of attention to, the unique nature of the monarchy in the modern age is what makes most people interested in it.

“It is very different from here, so I think that is what is interesting about it,” Gibson Southern freshman Corinne Stevens said.

However, people who are more up-to-date on global history think it is more important for others to be aware of it. For Susott, it is more about the significance of her ruling in history.

“It is a current event, and it is a global event,” Susott said. “She did represent for 70 years. That’s just a remarkable thing. I think that for many people, it represents something that is different from Americans and other parts of the world, too. For many people, she was just the queen. She wasn’t my queen, but she was the Queen of England, which is something, especially probably for western societies.”

The stress of being aware of the event also stems from the uprise in content regarding the usefulness of the monarchy in the modern age. There has been discussion in recent media regarding the potential downfall of it. It is considered more of an outdated system of government, seemingly out of place as more and more monarchies disappear. Many people believe that the monarchy simply acts as more of a publicity stunt rather than serving for the political or governmental aspect. This makes people question the future of the British monarchy, especially after Queen Elizabeth II’s passing.

“A lot of people are talking like, ‘Will the monarchy survive?’” Toth said. “Because it is kind of obsolete, and they are unbelievably expensive for the country to support. It is like they are there as a throwback to the past. Besides all of their philanthropy and associations with all of the charities they help with, they are not really doing anything in the government.”

There is no doubt that it has been around for a substantial amount of time, which makes the monarchy special to people. The opposing theory is that the United Kingdom’s monarchy will continue on because of its unique qualities and tradition.

“For [the United Kingdom], they have had [the monarchy] for a while, so it’s probably just what they are used to and comfortable with,” Gibson Southern sophomore Brody Knowles said.

Regardless, most people are interested to see what happens next for the royals. Many people are hesitant about how any future ruler will follow up Queen Elizabeth II’s impressive reign.

“It’s going to be interesting because I know a lot of people like Queen Elizabeth, and I don’t know how people feel about Charles,” Gibson Southern sophomore Lucas Church said.

There were not many specific opinions on Britain’s next ruler, King Charles III. The general response that most people have is that they hope he carries on well in her place.

“I don’t think that he has anywhere near the character that she had,” Toth said. “I hope, in her honor, he steps up and behaves. But, I don’t think that he has as virtuous a life as she led. She really devoted everything for her country and for the church. And he has, at times, been really selfish in the way he has led his life.”