The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

Students react to passing of Queen Elizabeth II

The Queen of England reigned for more than 70 years, passing away at the age of 96 on Sept. 8.
Vanessa Schor
Graphic depicting Queen Elizabeth II and the British flag. (Hustler Multimedia/Vanessa Schor)

Queen Elizabeth II passed away peacefully this afternoon at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96, after serving as England’s monarch for over 70 years. Students reacted somberly to the news.

Queen Elizabeth led England through solidifying post-World War II international relations, landmark royal marriages, deaths, births, exits and controversy, as well as England’s succession from the European Union. Her Majesty was also heavily criticized for contributing to and supporting colonialism and imperialism, banning ethnic minorities from holding office positions at Buckingham Palace and potentially making racist remarks toward Meghan Markle, Prince Harry’s wife, who is biracial, and their children.

Evelyn Marx, a sophomore, said she is at a loss for words over the Queen’s passing.

“She was such a strong female leader who refused to push down her femininity,” Marx said. “Her experiences have inspired me in my journey of entering a male-dominant field.”

Other students touched upon the Queen’s historical reign—no British monarch has been at the helm of the country longer than Queen Elizabeth. Her Majesty was 25 years old when she ascended to the throne

“I’m very upset to hear of the Queen’s passing,” Annie Blount, a junior, said in a message to The Hustler. “She was well-regarded across the globe and will forever be remembered for her wisdom and grace during her astonishing 70-year reign.”

Junior Vanessa Figueroa, an international student from London, England, similarly mentioned the gravity of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. 

“For me, it’s a sad day,” Figueroa said. “I know everyone in my expat community in London is mourning her passing.”

Shelby Dye, a junior, is a Canadian citizen and lived in Canada for 10 years of her childhood. She said the Queen’s passing particularly touched her due to Canada being part of the British Commonwealth, making Her Majesty the country’s former head of state. Canada is a constitutional monarchy, much like England.

“I never thought of her as a figure of great importance in my life, but I feel she has ultimately impacted me,” Dye said. “I’m definitely sad to see such a prominent figure go!”

Mitali Kumar, a senior, expressed discontent about the transfer of power from the Queen to now-King Charles III. His Majesty was sworn in as King immediately following the Queen’s death. At age 73, King Charles III is the oldest heir to be crowned King after being heir to the throne since age three. Controversy has circulated about King Charles III due to his affair with and marriage to now-Queen Consort Camilla, as well as his relationship with Prince Harry, his son.

“I’m very much upset,” Kumar said. “I definitely think that Princess Diana had to have been killed by someone in the Royal Family. I’m just not a fan of Prince Charles and Camilla; I think they’re shady people.”

Senior Janet Mariadoss spoke on the symbolism surrounding the timing of the Queen’s death, referencing how Her Majesty met the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Liz Truss, on Sept. 6—the day Truss took power.

“She shook her hand, and then, a few days later, she died,” Mariadoss said.

A double rainbow arched over Buckingham Palace just before the Queen’s death was announced, another symbolic moment surrounding Her Majesty’s death.

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About the Contributors
Rachael Perrotta
Rachael Perrotta, Former Editor-in-Chief
Rachael Perrotta ('24) is from Cranston, R.I., and majored in cognitive studies, political science and communication of science and technology and minored in gender and sexuality studies in Peabody College. She was also previously Senior Advisor and News Editor. If she's not pressing you for a comment, she's probably trying to convince you that she's over 5 feet tall, cheering on the Red Sox or wishing Nashville had a beach. She can be reached at [email protected].
Vanessa Schor
Vanessa Schor, Former Magazine Designer
Vanessa Schor Guerrero (‘25) is double majoring in Medicine, Health, and Society & Latinx Studies and minoring in Data Science in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is the Design Editor for The Side Hustle, works on Graphics for The Hustler and is from Washington, D.C. When not working for The Hustler, she loves to paint, read an excess amount of thrillers, and make custom music playlists for every mood. She can be reached at [email protected].
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