Flags at half-mast at the Algonquin College Ottawa campus. Photo credit: Liam Fox

When Queen Elizabeth II died at the age of 96 on Sept. 8, it made shockwaves and headlines around the world.

For many, the Queen has been the head of the British monarchy their whole lives, marking a major change. The Queen was on the throne since February 1952 and was the longest reigning monarch in Britain. The former Prince Charles is now King.

When the news broke Algonquin Times reporters rushed to get the initial reactions of staff and students on campus.

“I think it was a long time coming,” said Ryan Oram, a music and industry arts student. “But I am glad that she went peacefully if she was to go. I am not too opinionated on the monarchy, however, I do not think this will have a big impact on Canadians other than our currency. They have power here but they do not really use it.”

Others were shocked by the news.

“It’s sad actually because she’s been the Queen for as long as I can remember, and she did a lot of things to foster community relationships and relationships within the Commonwealth,” said Elizabeth Delavan, a professor of nursing studies.

“I’m sure it’s gonna be a really, really tough time for the monarchy and for everybody over in England,” said Amber Schuler-Toll, an academic access advisor at the college.

“It’s impressive that she kept it up for so long, and she didn’t take a step back,” said Amanda Lenz, a first-year early learning community development student.

Some at the college view the Queen’s passing as a major historic moment.

“I think it’s a remarkable moment in history because this hasn’t happened in 70 years,” said Bradley Moseley-Williams, a professor in the public relations program.

“For my students in the public relations program, it was a teachable moment actually to see how this would be communicated so everything changes from language to whose face is on the money, a new setup for the royal family I think we might even be looking at perhaps a slimmed down monarchy but more than anything else I think it’s a moment in time for the world to stop and really realize this is a marker in history that will change things going forward,” he continued.

Algonquin College released a statement following the news.

“Queen Elizabeth II presided over the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth for over seven decades. Our condolences go out to the Royal Family, citizens of the United Kingdom, all Commonwealth nations and people across the globe who are mourning this significant loss,” the college said in a statement on Twitter.

Flags will be lowered to half-mast on the Perth, Pembroke and Ottawa campuses in recognition of the Queen’s death, the college said.