Utah locals describe the atmosphere of London after Queen Elizabeth II’s death

Sep 19, 2022, 8:50 PM

Two Utah women who recently moved to England got an up-close look at the monarch’s funeral services and ceremonies.

While many paid their respects from the couch, two women had a front-row seat to some of the ceremony for Queen Elizabeth II.

Mary Beth Johnson moved from Farmington, Utah, to London to study dance.

“It’s always been a place I wanted to visit, but I never imagined moving out here,” Johnson said.

She moved there about a month ago and said the city has turned upside in that time. So much that life in London went on pause.

“Today, I was supposed to start orientation for school, so a lot of universities are not having their first day or postponing things,” Johnson said.

She and Annelise Gardiner watched the Queen’s state funeral together at a flat miles away from Westminster Abbey.

Britain bids farewell to Queen Elizabeth II with an outpouring of emotion

Annelise Gardiner is at Brigham Young University and works in England now. She said nothing in the U.S. compares to the massive piles of flowers and rich tradition she’s seen.

“We don’t have anything nearly as symbolic or historic,” Gardiner said.

The BYU alum watched as the hearse carrying a beloved queen drove off to her final resting place.

“I’m happy for Elizabeth. I’m happy that she can finally have some rest and some peace,” Gardiner said.

The two Utah women found a way to connect with the Queen, even though their lives were very different.

“She was a Christian and helped defend her faith,” Johnson said. “I’m like, ‘Wow, to keep her values and to be a light in the world is pretty impressive.'”

While Queen Elizabeth II is not the ruler they bow to, they can appreciate her loyalty to service to her country.

“They’re just like us, and they’re trying to live their lives to the best, and they make mistakes,” Gardiner said.

For now, Gardiner and Johnson will wait and watch as the new king and prime minister take over and what that transition will look like in London.

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Utah locals describe the atmosphere of London after Queen Elizabeth II’s death