BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — The passing of Queen Elizabeth II has sent shock waves across the world, and it's hitting some people hard in southwest Florida.
"We loved her," said British Open Pub owner Ann Nabbs. "She was always there for the people. Always."
Nabbs is from Liverpool and has lived in the United States since 1976. She opened her Bonita Springs pub 22 years ago, and the walls are covered with photos of the longest-serving monarch. The Queen died at 96-years-old.
"I don't think anybody was prepared for it," said Debbie Sprake, who's form Liverpool.
People who sat inside on Friday afternoon described the Queen as royal, regal and an icon.
"Very pretty lady," Nabbs said.
The owner had been meaning to work on a photo collage of Queen Elizabeth II before her passing.
"I put the news on, I heard she wasn’t doing well and I thought okay, today’s the day I’m going to do it," Nabbs said.
While she was piecing it together, the Queen died.
"I know that her death brings great sadness to so many of you," said King Charles III on Friday as he made his first speech since his mother's death.
Watching his speech was Sprake, wiping tears and King Charles III talked about his mother.
"She’s the only Queen I have ever known in my lifetime," Sprake said.
Next to Sprake was Terry Burke, who's from Scotland, where Queen Elizabeth II died.
"Queen Elizabeth II was absolutely the hardest working, full of integrity and honesty and lover for her family and her people," Burke said. "She gained respect over 70 years and she got immediate respect in Britain in the way the Second World War was panning out."
Next week, England will lay Queen Elizabeth II to rest. As for the future, the respect, her legacy and memory will live on in the hearts of many here in southwest Florida.
"There’s a genuine love for that lady and she deserved it," Nabbs said.