South Floridians pay respects to the late Queen Elizabeth (includes video story)

The British Consulate General in Miami opened its doors to the public on Monday to allow South Floridians to pay tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II. A condolence book will be available to sign in the lobby of the consulate, which is located on 1001 Brickell Bay Drive.

“The least we can do is come and sign the condolence book,” said Leonor Alonso. “Even though she was not my queen, but in a sense, I think she was the queen of the world because everybody knew her.”

Her majesty passed on Sept. 8 at Balmoral Castle, the British royal family’s estate in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. She was 96.

“She had a quality that I think is rare and to admire, which is balance and courage,” said Lydia Perez.

Despite the rainy weather in Miami, many people lined up to leave a message for the queen and the British royal family. The book will eventually make its way to Buckingham palace.

“It’s been amazing to see so many people–young, old, British, American, Latin American –from across the world actually,” said Miami’s British Consul General Rufus Drabble. “All of whom the queen has obviously meant something slightly different to them, so it’s been wonderful and quite humbling to see so many people turn up.”

The queen was on the throne for 70 years, making her Britain’s longest reigning monarch.

“I’ve been following her life and it’s just nice to see, actually, people who really care and can show respect to her,” said Axel Inestroza.

“I’m here to pay my condolences to Queen Elizabeth II,” said Belkis Largaespada. “I think it’s been something that’s been heard all around the world. It was expected, you know, because of her age, but she has had a big impact in the world.”

The condolence book will be available to the public from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. until this Friday. You can also sign it virtually.

Alexa Velez is a senior at FIU majoring in broadcast media with a concentration in English. She has written for PantherNOW and SFMN and is a recipient of the NBCU Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Scholarship. She completed her first internship on a national radio station, SLAM! Radio on Sirius XM 145, during the summer. She aims to network with others within the field and continue gaining experience in an effort to grow professionally and perfect her craft as a journalist.