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Brits living in Omaha visit Chippy's to feel comfort after passing of Queen Elizabeth II: 'It's really sad.'

Ex-pats say her 70-year reign will be felt forever
Posted at 8:06 PM, Sep 08, 2022

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — "The first thing I said is 'I’m going to Chippy’s'," said Sophie Wilson, a British woman who's been living in Omaha for two years.

Wilson wasn't alone on Thursday. After news of Queen Elizabeth's death, many British ex-pats visited the only British market in Nebraska to feel some sort of comfort.

"It's so nice. It feels like I’m stepping home, even though it’s not, it definitely feels like that. It's a family feel even if it's food or tea, it just makes you feel a sense of home," Wilson said.

She and the owner of Chippy's, Glenn Greet, felt sorrowful Thursday. They both expressed the impact the Queen had on the United Kingdom and say it will be felt forever.

"It’s really sad. She’s such — strong, consistent queen for us, so it’s very very odd now we’re going to have someone else filling her shoes. Just really sad day," Wilson said. "She’s very consistent. Seventy years of the same woman. She’s been very good at modernizing the country and moving it forward."

"Seventy years of fundraising for people less fortunate of ourselves; the thousands of charities she’s supported over that lifespan — probably in the billions and billions she’s raised to make people's lives a little more bright," Greet said.

He said, although he's lived in the United States for 22 years and is thousands of miles away, he's grateful for the outpouring of love he's received. Greet says thankfully, social media is more widespread now and helps.

"It’s been 22 years since I left the UK but it still runs through my blood. I’m proud. My blood runs red, blue and white on both sides of the Atlantic, but you don’t really leave where you were born and grew up," Greet said. "I’ve got the outpouring of messages through my personal Facebook as well as through my business ... as I read those messages I feel like I’m at home as well."

Americans not only sent their condolences but were also stopping by Chippy's to have a feel of the UK amid the news.

"We’ve been meaning to come here but today's a good day [to stop by]," Chippy's customer Ava, said. "It’s shocking. We all thought she’d live forever."

Although Brits are said she didn't live forever, they're optimistic about the next chapter of the monarch.

"We’ve lost that massive figurehead, but as Charles takes the throne he’s patron to some wonderful charities, big on the environment. I’m really optimistic about the UK and the impact he’ll do during his reign," Greet said.

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