‘Profound and unexpected sadness’: Brits in Catalonia mourn Queen Elizabeth II

"I hoped she would be immortal" nationals say when remembering the monarch that accompanied them all their lives

Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II (shared by The Royal Family)
Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II (shared by The Royal Family) / Gerard Escaich Folch

Gerard Escaich Folch | Barcelona

September 10, 2022 02:18 PM

"God Save the King" has become the new norm in the United Kingdom, in the Commonwealth countries, and all around the world after the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Thursday afternoon. The around 24,000 Brits residing in Catalonia will need to get used to having a new monarch to look after

However, some nationals are still mourning the Queen that accompanied them all their lives as she reigned for over 70 years. Even the British general consulate in Barcelona set up a condolence book to honor her legacy.

Some Brits in Catalonia even met Queen Elizabeth II personally through their work in the past and confirm to Catalan News she was "a really lovely lady, and greatly respected in the United Kingdom and all around the world," Janice McEvoy shared on a Facebook comment.

The monarch "devoted her life to her job," she added. Similar to what Anne-Marie Smith remembers of her, "through troubling times, she has never flinched and devoted her whole life to her work," she wrote.

Smith even recognized feeling "sadder" than she thought she would be despite "not being a staunch Royalist but [the Queen] has always been there, a steadying influence with a very traditional British approach to stay calm in the face of uncertainty."  

The Queen’s work during her reign will be one of the most remembered things for those Brits living in Catalonia, but also for those Catalans who saw her when she visited Barcelona in 1988.

The monarch "served her country and her Commonwealth with integrity and dignity for 70 years," Claire Lynksey shared on social media. "The Queen pledge it when acceded to the throne and was forever true to her word. The like of which, I doubt the world will ever see again," the Brit added before remarking it has been her Queen for her whole life.

It is with "profound and unexpected sadness," that Chris Timmons remembers the monarch as she "will be greatly missed" as the Queen "was a constant and enduring presence," during his 66 years of age, he explained.

For him, "an old royal era ends, and a new one begins," a thought also shared by Natalie Collins, who believes the Queen "was an icon who pushed boundaries."  

Sadness is one of the most common emotions when remembering the monarch, as Catalan News has stated. Even Lisa Morrison hoped "the Queen would be immortal," despite knowing she was 96 years old.

But while several grieve the loss of the only monarch they have ever known in their country’s history, others consider it "infantile."

"Public outpourings of grief for a head of state is not something I can reconcile with," Daniel Watt wrote online. "A family has lost its matriarch and I think we can all understand how that is sad for them," he explained. 

However, for him, "the royals lead lives of limitless privilege at the cost of the public and the monarchy should have been abolished long ago," he added.

And while Watt’s words are stronger, he has not been the only one raising his concerns. "She was not my Nan, why would I be in deep grief?" Lewis Bee wondered but still confirmed it "is the end of an era."