‘Everyone loved her:’ Tri-State Briton remembers the reign of Queen Elizabeth II

The Northern Kentucky resident recalls the unifying power of Her Majesty during times of strife.
Published: Sep. 8, 2022 at 10:01 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - News of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s death rippled across the world Thursday, provoking messages of mourning and tributes in honor of Britain’s longest-serving monarch and one of the foremost figures of the Twentieth Century.

For 88-year-old Linda Heath Madden, it was a day to reflect and remember.

Madden moved to the United States in the ‘50s after living out her youth, teenage years and early twenties in England.

“I think everybody loved her,” Madden said of Queen Elizabeth. “I just hate to see her go, because I don’t think the monarchy means as much to people today as it did.”

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Madden lives in Florence, Kentucky, but remains a British citizen having grown up in the seaside town of Old Hunstanton on the eastern coast of England.

“It was a small village,” Madden said. “The town of Hunstanton was nearby, but not very big either.”

The town may have been small, but not forgotten by the British Royal Family, who visited Madden’s high school while she attended.

“The Queen Mother came, and Princess Margaret came,” Madden said. “We all had to look our best in our uniforms and curtsy as they came by.”

Madden has countless stories showing the Royal Family’s persistent influence on her life growing up. Through the Second World War, for example, then-Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret provided steading voices as air raids hit parts of the country.

“They used to come on the radio,” she recalled. “They would give speeches of encouragement to people who had family in the war.”

Years later, when Elizabeth took the throne, Madden says she and a friend assembled with thousands of others to line the mall hoping to catch sight of the new queen.

“You were scared to get up from your seat… no one got up from their seat while it was going on,” she said. “I can’t remember how long it took, but it was a very long procession, and of course the best was the end.”

Madden says she appreciated that the queen was a unifying force for her country during her reign.

“You know, at the coronation, the crowds were huge,” she said. “I think everyone loved her, and she will be missed.”

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