Locals remember Queen Elizabeth II's complex legacy

Noel Miller
York Dispatch

Queen Elizabeth II's death will be marked by a 12-day period of mourning in the United Kingdom, but her legacy will also be remembered by many Brits and Anglophiles in York County.

Irina Mathias, co-owner of the Wrightsville yarn and wool store Flying Fibers, said she was checking in with relatives the U.K. in the wake of the queen's death. For herself, Mathias didn't feel a deeply personal connection to the queen.

She's curious about the effect the transition could have on global commerce. While commerce may not be directly tied to the Queen's death, Mathias suspects they will see a price increase for importing goods as England adjust to a new prime minister and now a new monarch.

"It will be an interesting few months to see how stuff plays out," she said.

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Mathias' father was born in the United Kingdom but came to the United States for his college education. Much of their family remains in the U.K., Mathias said. While they raise several British breeds of sheep in the United States, Flying Fibers also imports wool from the U.K.

Cindy Washburn, the owner of Oxford Hall, said the queen's legacy is important, regardless of whether you love or hate the monarchy.

"She led a very interesting and unique life," she said. "As a woman, I have to admire her dealing with a lot of men and a lot of things that most women of her era didn't get the opportunity to do."

The New Cumberland-based store sells a variety of items from England, Ireland and Wales. Both Washburn and her husband Steve are of English and Irish ancestry, she said.

Washburn expects a lot of discussion about the queen's death from their customers in the coming weeks.

Oxford Hall has customers who "have great love and respect for the queen," she said. But many others came from countries that were adversely affected by British imperialist policies.

— Reach Noel Miller at NMiller3@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @TheNoelM. 

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