Away from the Mourning Crowds, some Calgary Residents Express hope for Change in Monarchy

British Pantry: A book of condolences at British pantry in Calgary, Alberta. Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. The book is now closed after the weekend of signing. Although some Calgary residents are grieving the loss, they are now hoping for a change in the monarchy. (Photo by Shreya Kochhar/The Press)

While the world was in shock and London was packed with huge crowds and long lines, many individuals preferred to sit away from the masses in the lead up to Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.

Many people in attendance at Calgary’s City Hall on Sept. 19 said they mourned Queen Elizabeth as a person but perhaps not as a monarch because they didn’t feel a strong emotional connection to the establishment. Instead of mourning the queen on the day of her funeral, people made other plans.

“I’m sad for anybody dying or passing away,” said Paresh Shukla, who was born and raised in England but has spent the past 15 years in Calgary. “So my condolences to the rest of her family.

“But in terms of contribution to Canada and Calgary, or even to any other country for that matter within the Commonwealth, I wasn’t too sure what the monarchy as a royal family contributes, other than it being ambassadors for a lot of the charities, which is a good job, but I don’t believe the amount of tax was equal to the amount of work that they were doing.”

On a personal note, he says he wasn’t impacted at all.

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving British monarch, passed away on Sept. 8. at age 96. Her son Charles, Prince of Wales, who later became King Charles III, succeeded her. The Queen Consort is Camila, Duchess of Cornwall, Charles’ wife.

Atul Bir agrees that the queen lived a great long life and benefited people in the United Kingdom. However, he doesn’t believe she made a significant impact on Canadians’ lives in Calgary or elsewhere in Canada.

“Maybe I’m missing something. Maybe they do a lot of work. I mean, I know a lot of people were mourning and sad that you know, she did a lot of work and there’s a lot of contribution, but I don’t know what it was, and I don’t see that.”- Paresh Shukla

Canadian Christopher Roach said the royal family served as cultural guardians. He is unsure if Canada requires that anymore.

“I know a lot of people who disagree with the idea entirely,” he said. “So, I don’t know, I have mixed emotions about it.

“Because I grew up with the queen as a figurehead…But you know, it might be time to move on.”

About Shreya Kochhar 3 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Shreya Kochhar is working as a writer for The Press in 2022-23.