On the evening of Queen Elizabeth II’s death, people in Oxford city centre reacted with shock, upset, tears and prayers.

The Oxford Mail spoke with people in the city centre this evening, just mere hours after the monarch’s death was announced by Buckingham Palace.

READ MORE: Queen Elizabeth II: Leave your condolences for Her Majesty the Queen

Oxford Mail: Sahil KhannaSahil Khanna (Image: Newsquest)

Shopkeeper Sahil Khanna, of Woodstock Road, was working in the Candyland store on Cornmarket when he heard the news.

The 30-year-old said: “I was watching the news online news and even before the announcement people were saying that she had died.

“It was odd that some five or six days before we did not hear news she was ill.

Mr Khanna explained that upon news of the Queen’s death he immediately “turned off my music and prayed for her.”

“She was one of the best ladies in the whole world,” he added.

Oxford Mail: Rob Jordan Rob Jordan (Image: Newsquest)

Meanwhile, at the Jolly Farmers on Paradise Street pub custodian Rob Jordan, 46, noted that “at the end of the day she was someone’s mother and grandmother”.

Mr Jordan, who lives in Abingdon with his husband and pub co-owner Spike Greenwood, called the loss of Her Majesty “very sad” and “sad for the country”.

“At her age it is something that was expected at some point but it is a great shock as she was doing duties until Tuesday,” he added.

Oxford Mail: Ruth PovallRuth Povall (Image: Newsquest)

Harwell resident Ruth Povall was in the city centre with her daughter Molly and found taking in the atmosphere of Oxford following the news “touching”.

The 44-year-old said: “It was really shocking and very upsetting.

“We are very glad we are in Oxford city centre this evening walking around and seeing people’s reflections.”

Oxford Mail: Molly PovallMolly Povall (Image: Newsquest)

Molly Povall, 15, said: “I was really upset because it is nothing I have ever experienced. I spent the whole day at school not knowing anything and it is really devastating.”

The teen noted that a lot of people her age have been posting on social media “saying how they are wholly affected by it”.

Oxford Mail: Saheer MKSaheer MK (Image: Newsquest)

Another shopkeeper, Saheer MK, who was working in the Oxford Experience souvenir shop in the evening also commented on the “sad” nature of the news.

The 35-year-old of Rose Hill believes “no monarch will be as strong as the Queen” because of her ability to oversee all the different nations in the Commonwealth.

Oxford Mail: Elaine WynnElaine Wynn (Image: Newsquest)

Elaine Wynn was visiting the city from her home just outside Blackpool.

She explained that upon hear the news she cried. This was because her ex-husband was a master tailor in the Grenadier Guards and therefore she met the Queen several times.

“She was amazing. She was a wonderful lady,” the 63-year-old noted.

She added that she has a “a strong affiliation” with the monarch because of the fact her ex-husband was in the Grenadier Guards and that is that regiment which will carry the Queen’s coffin.

“She has been amazing,” she summarised.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Sophie Perry. She joined the team in 2021 as a digital reporter.

You can get in touch with her by emailing: sophie.perry@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @itssophieperry

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