“When you think of England, you think of her.” Rochester couple reflects on the death of Queen Elizabeth II

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Queen Elizabeth II will be missed around the world and for one Rochester couple, they have followed the Queen’s life for as long as they can remember.

“Even when you’re ready for something like this, an elderly person in particular, a beloved person like this. It still hits you,” Nick Mezacapa said.

It’s been a lifetime of knowing who Queen Elizabeth II was for Edna and Nick Mezacapa of Rochester.

“We grew up with her,” Edna said.”

“When she took the reins, I was three and you were four. It’s been basically our whole lifetime, it’s been Queen Elizabeth,” Nick added.

Edna became interested in the royal family from a young age.

“My father was born in England so I was always interested in it,” she said.

Although saddened by the news on Thursday, the Mezacapa’s are reflecting on the Queen’s success as a leader.

“Queen Elizabeth was certainly a stand-out monarch. Not just because of her long tenure, but think of all that she went through. Her family struggles, the wars,” Nick said.

The couple has lived in Rochester for decades and has even thrown watch parties for some of the royal weddings.

“Great watch party. People dressed up, we had treats, we wore hats and gloves, we had invitations and we hoped that they would all respond and then we watched the royal wedding together for William and Catherine,” Edna said in reference to the 2011 wedding.

For what’s next, Edna and Nick think it will be a sense of transition that is bigger than just the family having to adjust. It’ll be a cultural transition for England moving to more of a 21st Century approach to leadership.

“I think there’s going to be a sense of a big shift, a good shift, but a big shift, that moves things forward,” Nick said.

“A progressive shift,” Edna added.

Nick said leaders aren’t like Queen Elizabeth anymore. He said they don’t bring the same authenticity, honesty and integrity.

“If women are looking for an image to follow, there you go,” he said.

But the Mezacapa’s said the legacy of the Queen will live on.