The Western community is mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She died peacefully Thursday, Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle in Scotland at the age of 96.
Campus flags will remain at half-mast in her memory until sunset on the day of the state funeral, Monday, Sept. 19.
The university shared a statement on social media yesterday, recognizing the Queen’s devotion to duty and public service.
Western president Alan Shepard spoke of the Queen’s lasting impact.
“From the moment she ascended to the Throne, Queen Elizabeth devoted her life to duty and service. A much beloved and respected monarch, her special affinity and affection for Canada is well known. The Western community joins all Canadians in remembering her extraordinary life.”
During her 70-year reign, the Queen visited London, Ont. in 1951, 1959, 1973 and 1997.
Joined by her husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen came to Western’s campus in 1959 as part of the Royal Tour of Canada. A crowd of 13,000 people packed J.W. Little Stadium, welcoming Britain’s longest serving monarch and the prince with a thunderous roar. Upon arriving at the stadium, the prince is said to have quipped, “If this is the little stadium, I’d hate to see the big one!” With then Mayor Allan Johnston by her side, the Queen was presented with a wicker tray of spring flowers from two children, Betty Jean Addley and Douglas Hockin.
A book of condolences will be available for the public to sign at London’s City Hall, 300 Dufferin St., until the date of the Queen’s funeral.