CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Central Illinois is feeling Queen Elizabeth’s death even thousands of miles away. Britain has a new monarch after she died on Thursday. 

She passed away at Balmoral Castle, her home in Scotland. The Queen was the longest-reigning monarch of England, serving 70 years on the throne. Many said she was reassuring and one U of I professor even considered her Great Britain’s grandmother. 

Now, her son Charles takes the throne. Cele Otnes, a retired University of Illinois professor, studies the Royal Family and said there is never a moment without someone on the throne.

Otnes said Queen Elizabeth is leaving behind an unforgettable legacy and stood for the virtues the people of Britain admired. 

“In a way, I think we all sort of felt like she would never die,” Otnes said. “I think we all needed, especially during many of our challenges lately, COVID and economic turbulence, resilience.”

Ryan Lysycia lives in England and was on the train in London when he heard the news. 

“I was just listening to music,” he said. “My friend motioned to me and showed the notification pulled up on the phone. Everyone standing around, heads go up.”

He added that everyone was in a somber mood. 

Lysycia said he was always impressed with Elizabeth’s way with people, and James Brennan, a British history professor at the U of I, felt the same. 

“She understood that it was important to kind of be quiet and dignified and kind of a sense of public duty and to been seen for doing public duty,” Brennan said. 

Lysycia feels that she is irreplaceable. 

“I think within our lifetime, there won’t ever be another Queen with three generations of male heirs,” he said. “We won’t see another one.”

He went on to call her a constant and knows the next few months are a period of transition as King Charles moves into his position. 

Otnes thinks it will take months for his coronation ceremony as it is inappropriate to have a celebration right away. She said the Queen moved into her role in 1952, but her coronation wasn’t until 1953.

She said it is also part of the 10 days of national mourning.

“On the 10th, there will be her funeral and it will be a national day of mourning,” Otnes said. 

But for now, people are remembering her persistence. 

“She was an uniter in a lot of ways,” Otnes said. “People would still look forward to her Christmas broadcasts and her speech about COVID.” 

The King released a statement on the Royal Family’s Twitter, calling it “a moment of the greatest sadness for me and all members of my family. We mourn profoundly the passing of a cherished Sovereign and a much loved mother.”

He went on to say her loss will be felt around the country and world.